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Thursday 21 June 7.30pm at the Purifier Building
Professor TIM VALENTINE
“Still Making Waves”
Greenpeace – Taking direct action in Swale and Medway to protect the environment
‘Tim Valentine is Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Goldsmiths University of London. He is the election agent for Swale Green Party and was the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Faversham and Mid Kent in the 2010 and 2015 general elections. He is authorised to speak on behalf of Greenpeace UK.
In this talk he will describe the origin and values of Greenpeace, and discuss some recent campaigns with a focus on direct actions in Swale and Medway.
The talk will be illustrated with images and video of Greenpeace’s direct actions to protect the environment and promote peace over the last 47 years.’
Like so many others in Faversham, the Creek Trust Board is very concerned by the prolonged wait for news about when we will get our opening bridge. We have been continuing to work on this, lobbying behind the scenes on your behalf. We are in regular contact with KCC, and they assure us that:
- They are committed to achieving an opening bridge in Faversham
- They have a team working on all aspects of the project including the legal position and the finances. The contribution of £125,000 made by the public is being kept safely in a reserve account
- They are considering alternative designs of opening bridge, which may be much less expensive. We have given them our research which indicates that a lifting bridge, with the whole mechanism above ground, should be cheaper to construct and install, and should take far less time to install too – hence much shorter and cheaper road closures
- While KCC are not yet ready to report on their progress, we are confident that they are moving in the right direction, and they will bring us up to date as soon as they can
We will report to you again after the next Bridge Steering Group Meeting, which is scheduled to take place at the end of June
For more information, please email us at email@example.com
The Faversham Creek Trust was formed early in 2011 by a group of people with a specific interest in the Creek as a maritime asset, to try to change the planning focus away from creekside residential development that exploited the creek as a free visual asset, adding value to the development but nothing to the Creek
The Creek Neighbourhood Plan was introduced later in 2011 by SBC in an attempt to consolidate and formalise those developments, with the addition of some other industrial sites; not a contiguous plan, more a device for achieving the existing focus.
That Plan was not signed off until 2017 [see May 2017 in Archive], an indication of how contentious it became. Swan Quay was rightly excluded from development, even after judicial revue, and Ordnance Wharf will now have to meet strict criteria for development.
The SECOS oil wharf is in the planning process, for 2 blocks of 4 storey terraces, urban warehouse style without any real architectural merit, concertinaed in to exploit the plot to its maximum; early plans showing a small marina have disappeared, but the cantilevered walkway that utilises some area over the creek, potentially outside the property boundary, remains.
This would permanently prevent any mooring alongside; in fact it creates a hazard to small craft, the absolute opposite of regenerating the creek. This ostensibly meets the NP requirement for a continuous creekside footpath, but which is not actually continuous as the existing Belevedere developments do not have a designated footpath along their promenade waterfront.
It is clear that there is no acceptance of the need to stop hedging in the creek with high buildings, simply to cram in as many houses as possible, to maximise return. The next block to be added after these will be on the old coach works site and complete the wall of housing right up to Standard Quay; thank goodness for the listed buildings there. It should be noted that there are no affordable house here; these are premium priced resdiences.
Then there is that Bridge. The fact is that the Trust was central to promoting and fundraising £125,000 for it directly from the public [the only funds that are actually in the KCC kitty, the rest are still merely promises] but it is now being kept almost entirely ignorant of what is going on, regardless of any promises to the contrary if it kept quiet and gave KCC time to bridge the gap between the original estimated and funded £900,000 cost and the 150% extra cost quoted by the contractors.
Unfortunately, the result is that other groups have now taken over the initiative, without the constraints it signed up to. A promise from Paul Carter, Leader of KCC, that there will certainly be an opening bridge, is a good result, even though the timescales are unknown, but still no word on progress.
So whilst the Trust might appear to be sidelined, this has led to certain people hinting that the Faversham Creek Trust has gone. IT HAS NOT. In fact it is very active and meeting its charitable objectives, including a major role in organising the Nautical Festival, and running Boat Camp for pupils of the Abbey School, as well as continuing to manage the restored Purifier Building that hosts the Shipwright Training scheme, now joined up with the Pilot Cutter project in Truro.
Meanwhile a small team of Trust members looked closely at the design and installation costs and proposed to KCC an alternative approach. The Trust has recently been assured that all is going well, progress is being made, including consideration of the Trust’s proposals, and an announcement is soon to be made. We can only wait and see…
The question is often asked; what is the role of the Statutory Harbour Authority, Peel Ports, London and Medway, in all this. The SHA has rights and duties; it can collect Conservancy fees from all vessels in the Creek; it also has certain duties to maintain the waterway for the benefit of all vessels, especially those from whom it extracts dues. It is unreasonable for them to argue that as there is no commercial traffic now, they can simply walk away from the Port of Faversham, allowing the waterway and their assets, the bridge [shared with KCC] and gates, to become derelict.
The responsibility for dredging has already been taken over by a Community Interest company, the Faversham Creek Navigation Co. but there are other signs of degradation; Town Quay and the Hazard, a listed building owned by SBC; Swan Quay, deliberately degraded after failing the judicial review, in the absence of creative solutions for it future, even though that might not immediately return the same as two 4 storey residential blocks; the town stagings condemned through lack of maintenance, with no immediate plans for replacement. Ordnance Wharf, no published plans for it future… and until there is certainty of access to the Basin, it is not financially justifiable to dredge it, nor restore the BMM Weston Wharf.
So most of the top of the creek, apart from the Purifier Building and Morrisons, and some old converted and new buildings on Belvedere, continues in a state of dereliction.
Some members of the Trust have been working for the last 7 years to achieve its aims, with huge support from members and volunteers and others; sometimes against oppositions, official and unofficial; we have made friends and lost friends; some of the opposition has included the worst kind of political trickery. All of the support has been of the best kind; this Trust has tried to weave a path through all this for the benefit of the Creek and the Town.
The Trust will always benefit from new members and volunteers with new ideas, enthusiasm and energy. Faversham and this amazing Creek still needs you…
This article is a personal view and does not reflect the official views of the Truct.
as a street
2017 was a quiet year for Cambria, which caused some level of worry.
2018 is proving much better. Early in April the Sea-Change Sailing Trust started a charter of the barge for several months to be used for their work with young people and for other more unusual sails.
Top of the pile of such voyages must be the coming “Trading Mates on Cambria” weekend which will see Dick Durham and Phil Latham return to the barge where they spent long days as Mates in the last of the trading years in the 1960s.
And you can be part of that great experience by joining the barge for the weekend. See below for full details and how to book.