The Trust’s Regeneration Plan for the Basin in 2013

The Regeneration Plan for Faversham Creek Basin

has not really changed since 2013

Read how we saw the Bridge then


Since 2011 the Faversham Creek Trust has been working towards a regeneration plan that focuses on the upper part of Faversham Creek above the Brents Swing Bridge. The plan was first submitted to the Local Plan forum of the Creek Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group in November 2012. What appears here is a brief overview, revised for submission to the Faversham Town Council in November 2013.

We believe there is a unique opportunity for change in the centre of this historic town with significant economic and social benefits for residents and visitors alike. Our plan is based on the creation of a viable maritime economic facility, with workshops, moorings and a training school to serve the existing fleet of traditional vessels in the Thames Estuary.

The plan will be a team effort, with combined effort from several stakeholders including a charitable trust, a community association, identified private investors, and local and regional authorities.

The key elements

1. The regeneration of Ordnance Wharf as a single-storey marine workshop with office and community centre with access from Flood Lane, in conformity with the current local plan, the existing conservation area, and the plan now under preparation by the Brents Community Association. A potential purchaser has been confirmed subject to Ordnance Wharf not being re- zoned for housing. Implementation mid-2015.

Basin drawings 3 Ben White Nov13

2. The existing restored Purifier Building to be a training centre for students and apprentices to be run in conjunction with the Ordnance Wharf workshop. The five year plan envisages 18 students with an eventual capacity for 36 students per year. Implementation late 2015. There are also two specialist workshop units and a room for community activities.

Basin drawings 2 Ben White Nov13

3. The restoration of the BMM Weston Creek frontage outside the existing car park with the co- operation of the owner, on a long lease in exchange for the restoration cost. The resulting wharf (with back filling of a new piled frontage from the waterside) will provide moorings for up to ten sailing barges and smacks and a green amenity space along the current footpath. A private company will meet the cost of the operation to commence when the KCC has replaced the current swing bridge.

Basin drawings 1 Ben White Nov13

4. The replacement of the existing swing bridge by a new, opening bridge – by Kent County Council as a collaborative project in partnership with the Borough Council and the Town Council.

5. The repair or replacement of the sluice gates by Medway Ports and their subsequent management and dredging by the Faversham Creek Trust under licence by the authority.

The Lifting Bridge opening at High Tide for an awaiting barge, with another waiting to come out.Basin drawings 4 Ben White Nov13

These objectives are in line with feedback received from the May 2012 Creek Neighbourhood Plan exhibition and the June 2013 exhibition, and also with feedback from the Urban Initiatives consultation in 2009. They conform to Neighbourhood Plan objectives 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15.

The benefits

The benefits arising from the regeneration are:

  1. Economic: the generation of new business turnover in marine workshops, training school and mooring fees, with a total annual value of £425,000 excluding indirect benefits.
  2. Job creation: the plan will create at least 50 new jobs including students and apprentices, but excluding tourism spin-off related employment in the town.
  3. Social: the regeneration of the Creek basin would remove an eyesore from the centre of the town. It replaces a derelict and unsafe area adjoining a public footpath by a safe waterfront and public space with a view over barges and the town skyline. The repaired or replaced sluice gates would permit water retention in the basin and therefore a safe water area for community activities, sea scouts and sail training not normally available in a tidal creek.
  4. Heritage: the plan as a whole provides a significant location in the Purifier Building and Ordnance Wharf workshops for a living maritime heritage centre where schoolchildren and visitors to the town can see shipwrights at work and engage with Faversham’s history.
  5. Visitor numbers: the annual number of visitors to Faversham (15,000 in 2011) would rise by at least 25% as a consequence of a revitalised basin. The experience of Maldon with its smaller resident population but a fleet of ten Thames Barges and 30,000 visitors supports this contention.


We envisage that construction could begin in 2015, preceded by a planning application in 2014. The continued commitment of the KCC to a working bridge to the basin and confirmation of the existing zoning are key conditions to the success of the plan.

Board of Trustees, Faversham Creek Trust – 25 November 2013

Chris Wright on Moving Ships Tue 17th

Less than a century ago, great passenger liners such as the Queen Mary excited the imagination. Today, our attention has moved on, but ships remain vital to the economy, shifting far more cargo than railways or trucks.

As a Cinque Port and a centre for traditional wooden vessels, Faversham itself has maritime associations. It is close to the Straits of Dover, the busiest sea lane in the world, and the Graveney Boat reminds us how our ancestors grappled with the forces of nature to bring cargo to our shores.

In this talk, Chris Wright will sketch out the evolution of ships and shipping from an unusual point of view: looking underneath the hull and behind the propeller to see what makes them tick, and how the early vessels evolved into the sleek monsters we see today. But they move in mysterious ways and are often unstable or difficult to control. Sometimes battered by hurricane-force winds and rogue waves nearly a hundred feet tall, they are surprisingly risky to travel in. Among the topics raised will be:
How to get up the creek without a paddle (or an engine)
Ships make beautiful V-shaped wave patterns – why do they all look the same?
Are supertankers unstable?
How the Queen Mary helped to win World War 2, and …
Can goldfish be seasick?

This is a free event, with refreshments. We request a leaving donation to help cover our costs.

Latest on the Bridge

Faversham Creek Trust were disappointed that KCC cancelled at short notice the long-awaited bridge meeting scheduled for this afternoon, as were other members of the Steering Group. This was due to serious illness of a family member of one of the KCC team – naturally we extend our best wishes to them.

We had expected to be shown their proposals for a bridge, as promised last October, being mindful of the budgetary difficulties they now face. We await a rescheduled meeting as soon as possible.

It is not surprising that Faversham people are expressing concerns about the continuing delay. Between us and with the support of the Town Council and the Borough Council we raised the money asked, and still we have no idea of when the bridge will be replaced.

Members of the Faversham Creek Trust have in the meantime come up with a different proposal. This is for a lifting bridge which is simpler and quicker to install, operate and maintain, and which will cost far less to build – probably close to the budget. An example can be seen working at the river entrance to Chatham Marina – it has been operated many times a day since 1996 and is thus well-proven. We have provided KCC and the Steering Group with detailed information about this design and we urge them to consider our proposal with the utmost seriousness.

We think a public meeting in the town as proposed would now be helpful to establish what the current position is and how we can best move forward.

A Day for Young People April 4th

A day for young people, organised by young people. Come along and find out how to be part of the new Faversham Youth Council

4 Excellent Talks coming up

Moving Ships
Prof. Chris Wright
Tuesday 17 April Fleur Hall, Gatefield Lane

Occupation, Use and Ownership of Quays of the Creek from the Middle Ages to 2018
John Owen FSA
Thursday 31 May Purifier Building

Greenpeace – Still Making Waves
Prof Tim Valentine
Thursday 21 June Purifier Building

Faversham 20202020
Prof Tim Stonor
Tuesday 10 July The Limes, Preston Street – upstairs


An afternoon of Thames Barge Sailing Films Sunday 18th


Creek Clean Sunday 11th