Tag Archives: faversham creek basin

WELL DONE FAVERSHAM – YOU’VE DONE IT!!!

Thank you

We’ve done it! We’ve raised £125,000! Join us for a photo call on the Bridge tomorrow (Sunday 27 September) at 2 pm
The final payment has been made into the KCC Swing Bridge Fund, bringing the total to £125,000.

We’ll be lining the Bridge tomorrow (27 September) at 2 pm, when photographers from our local newspapers will take pictures of everyone waving and thanking Faversham for our tremendous success.

What a fantastic fundraising summer we’ve had, with 53 events, and support and donations from dozens of local businesses and thousands of people. Most are from Faversham but others hail from much further afield – as far away as Australia, Brazil and California!

Now it’s time to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to Swing the Bridge. We’ll be putting up posters like the one above all over town. If you would like one to put in your window, it will be available to download soon from our website – Swing the Bridge Literature – or email us on favershamcreektrust@yahoo.co.uk to request one.

We will close our fund on 30 September, as planned. Any funds raised over the target will be held separately, and will be used for Bridge related projects in the Basin. As you know, opening the Bridge is the first stage towards regenerating the Basin, bringing back maritime activity and creating a waterfront for all to enjoy. Watch this space for future developments!

As always, please do keep spreading the word and keep those donations – big or small! – coming in, in this, the final few days of our fund-raising campaign. While we’ve reached the first target, it’s certainly not the last!

Thank you for your continued support for ‘Swing the Bridge.’

The Swing the Bridge campaign team

Swing the Bridge fund total now £75,000

The Swing the Bridge fund thermometer in Faversham Town Square, has been upgraded to show total receipts of £75,000.DSC_0223

Many thanks are due to all those who have contributed or helped to raise funds. This is an astounding result for just four months actual fundraising, and confirms that we are on course to achieving the full amount required to secure a Swing Bridge, rather than a fixed one, provided we keep up the pace, till the end of September, just eight weeks away.

So, if you are thinking about it, now is the time to put hand in pocket or pen to cheque and make your contribution, no matter how small, as every little bit helps. The easiest way is to use the on-line GIVEY fund at the head of this page. Don’t forget that Gift Aid is worth 25% on top, so sign a Gift Aid form.

Family Bike Ride Fundraising for the Bridge Sat 11th

Family Bike Ride A4.docx

SPONSORSHIP FORM HERE;   STB Bike Ride Sponsorship Form

 

MEET YOUR NEW SWING BRIDGE

This is the first drawing of the new SWING BRIDGE, that has been issued by KCC as part of a public consultation by the Marine Management Organisation. The details of this consultation can be seen at the Faversham Library.

By kind permission of KCC

By kind permission of KCC

Our Regeneration Plan for Faversham Creek Basin

Summary 

Since 2011 the Faversham Creek Trust has been working towards a regeneration plan that focuses on the upper part of Faversham Creek, the Basin above the Brents Swing Bridge. This plan is an updated version of the plan first submitted to the Stakeholder Workshop of the Creek Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group in November 2012, and then to Faversham Town Council in November 2013.

We believe there is a unique opportunity for restoration and development 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.

This plan, which now has backing from Swale Borough Council and Faversham Town Council,  will integrate the effort of several stakeholders including a charitable trust, a community association, identified private investors, and regional authorities.

The Key Elements

The replacement of the existing swing bridge by a new swing bridge – by Kent County Council as a collaborative project in partnership with the Borough Council, the Town Council and this Trust. This is the key to the Basin, and the Trust actively supports the public subscription funding opportunity that has been initiated by KCC to ensure that the bridge opens rather then remain a fixed bridge.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The regeneration of Ordnance Wharf as a maritime workshop, small boat yard 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 Nov13The 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 Nov13The restoration of the BMM Weston Creek frontage outside the existing car park with the co- operation of the owner. The resulting wharf will provide moorings for up to ten sailing barges and smacks and a green amenity space along the current footpath. A Community Interest company will manage the operation, when KCC has replaced the current swing bridge.

BASIN ROGER LOW 1The repair or replacement of the sluice gates by Peel Ports and their subsequent management, in conjunction with the operation of the new swing bridge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dredging of the Basin and the Creek by the Faversham Creek Navigation Company, a new Community Interest Company. A Maintenance Dredging licence has already been issued by Peel Ports, for the creek downstream from the bridge.

For the Basin, a Capital Dredging licence has been applied for,  to the Marine Management Organisation. This involves negotiation with the Environment Agency, Natural England, Peel Ports and other agencies who look after the waterbodies and the environment in the UK.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All these objectives are in line with feedback received from all the Neighbourhood Plan exhibitions and they also conform to the relevant Neighbourhood Plan Objectives.

The Benefits

The benefits arising from this regeneration are comprehensive:

Economic: the generation of new business turnover in marine workshops, training school and mooring fees, with a total annual value of around £500,000 excluding indirect benefits.

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.

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 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. IMG_1083

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.

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.

Implementation

The future of the Basin is entirely dependant upon the continued commitment of KCC, SBC and the Town Council, to an Opening Bridge and Gates. That policy and financial commitment, along with public subscription to the Bridge Fund, is currently the main focus of the Faversham Creek Trust, to ensure that the plans for the Basin are realised, for the benefit of all.

 

The Faversham Creek Swing Bridge Fund

A new fund has been launched by Kent County Council to support plans to replace Faversham Creek Bridge.

KCC has already set aside £400,000 for work to start replacing the fixed bridge in 2016/17. However, the bridge was originally designed as a swing bridge that opened to allow access for boats. KCC would like to raise the extra £500,000 to help meet the aspiration of bringing it back to its former glory rather than remaining a fixed bridge.

Mark Dance, KCC Cabinet Member for Economic Development says; We already have the money set aside to replace the bridge. The bridge hasn’t been able to be opened for at least 25 years and we think we should be more ambitious and return it to a fully-fledged swing bridge. This means not only will it allow access to larger boats; it will lead to further benefits for the Inner Basin of the Creek.

IMG_1088

If the additional money is not raised, work will continue to replace it, except it will remain a static bridge. So we hope that local people and businesses will support the Fund via the website

http://www.kent.gov.uk/favershamcreek

and help us to raise the additional £500,000 required.

Our Chairman, Chris Wright, says ‘ the Trust has been pleased to be part of the steering group for the last year or two, which has worked hard to realise the aspirations of the town in having an opening bridge, so that barges and other craft can once more enter the basin and revitalise the whole area, providing a marine hub for traditional sailing vessels and shipwright training in the Purifier Building. The Trust welcomes the launch of the bridge fund and looks forward to helping raise the necessary amount of money needed’

Basin drawings 1 Ben White Nov13

Brenda Chester, who co-ordinates the bridge steering group added ‘ I look forward also to seeing the Basin opened and local people and groups such as the Sea Cadets being able to use it for recreational purposes; also the increased tourism potential for our historic Cinque Port town is exciting. An opening bridge and dredged Creek and Basin will enable the annual Nautical Festival and other events to expand and be even more successful which will be good for residents and businesses.’

IMG_1278

A Faversham Town Council spokesperson said ‘ A swing bridge would be an important contribution to the regeneration of the Creek. The Fund, which would raise money in addition to that guaranteed by KCC would enable all interested parties in the private and public sector to demonstrate their commitment to such a worthwhile cause,

Councillor Mike Cosgrove, Swale Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said ‘this is great news, after chairing the Faversham Creek Consortium for 8 years, our dream of getting the funding to deliver this iconic project is almost there. Swale, I am sure, will also make a contribution and stand shoulder to shoulder with KCC and the Town Council’.

So there we are, and now it is up to all of us, individually and corporately, private and public sector, to put our hands in our pockets and offer a contribution, however small, towards something that would not just be the visible restoration of a major historic part of the Town, but also play a part in the future prosperity of the town. 

TO DONATE     GOT TO

http://www.kent.gov.uk/favershamcreek

Swale Local Plan Consultation ends Friday

There are references to Faversham and the Creek throughout the Swale Local Plan, but this is the wording of the main section relating to the Creek and the Neighbourhood Plan. The deadline for comments on the Local Plan is 5pm on Friday 30 January 2015.

Comments should be made to;   planningpolicy@swale.gov.uk

or directly at;  http://swale-consult.limehouse.co.uk/

The Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan

6.8.8 The Faversham Creek area is part of the town’s extensive conservation area and contains a number of historic buildings, together with traditional marine related activities and a series of green spaces. All contribute to the character of the area and represent an important asset to the town.

6.8.9 The Creek is operating under a number of complex constraints. Navigation is restricted in parts by a loss of depth and width to the channel and there is no longer safe navigation for large craft in its Basin due to silting. Navigation into the Basin is also restricted by a defective swing bridge at Bridge Road. Navigation could also be improved by dredging, but in addition to its costs, there are likely to be limitations imposed on large scale industrial dredging of the Creek by the Swale Special Protection Area (SPA).

6.8.10 Flood risk, particularly in relation to the re-use of previously developed land within the 1:20 year flood zone of Faversham Creek, must be carefully assessed and managed, whilst a number of these sites are likely to be contaminated and require some remediation work. A further issue is that the attractive waterside environment of the creekside area has not had the same investment to improve the quality of its environment as the town centre. There are also a number of historic buildings needing restoration.

6.8.11 For these reasons, the regeneration of Faversham Creek, whilst protecting the rich maritime, industrial and landscape heritage for economic, environmental and educational purposes, is the principal objective. This has been strongly supported by local consultation.(6.4)* This analysis indicates that the Neighbourhood Plan should seek to regenerate Faversham Creek by focusing on: clusters of heritage assets and marine-related activities with regeneration potential; navigation improvements to the Creek through a combination of sluicing and smaller scale injection dredging; protecting and enhancing important green spaces and upgrading the public realm within the area; and maximising pedestrian links between the Creek and the town, along the creekside and to wider countryside routes.

*6.4 is: “Stakeholder Consultation and Options Report 2009. Urban Initiatives for SBC and Developing proposals and future planning policy options to deliver regeneration of the Creek area 2010. Tony Fullwood Associates for SBC.”

Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan Vision

The Creek at the heart of Faversham. Faversham Creek is leading the regeneration of the town; a place where we can celebrate its rich history and attractive appearance; a place where we enjoy spending time, both on and off the water; a place where boats, residents and visitors want to be. A place where developments integrate the needs of people and nature and where its distinctive character and identity is rooted in its traditional industries and enriched by new businesses.
[Note: This differs from the wording of the Vision in the latest version of the Neighbourhood Plan, which was changed in response to landowner comments.]

Land allocations for new development

6.8.12 Within the areas of heritage/marine-related activity adjoining the Creek, listed and other historic buildings and maritime uses, wharves and moorings important to the character of the Creek should be retained and, where necessary, restored alongside complementary redevelopment opportunities. Given the location of these areas within the functional floodplain, and the historic association with the Creek, workshops/business uses, facilities for moored boats (e.g. showers/toilets) and small scale retail and restaurant uses would be best able to address these issues and improve the visitor attraction to the area.(6.5) Dependent on design, amenity and flood risk considerations, residential development could be permitted above ground floor level to assist with the viability of mixed use schemes and to provide activity throughout the day and evening. On some sites, mixed-use development would be unsuitable and on these sites 100% residential development would be acceptable. New buildings should be of a sensitive design with their scale and context respecting the setting of the listed building and the adjoining creekside buildings.

6.8.13 A Faversham Creek Streetscape Strategy has been prepared and adopted by the Swale Joint Transport Board which seeks to extend town centre streetscape enhancements to the creekside area. The principal aim of the strategy is that improvements in the public realm around Faversham Creek should respond to and enhance the character and distinctiveness of the creekside area. The Strategy outlines the guiding principles regarding the improvements to the streetscape of the creekside area and establishes guidelines for the design of specific items in the overall streetscape. The Strategy also sets out guidance for creek streetscape enhancements for discrete areas of the creekside. The priorities for implementation will be set through the Neighbourhood Plan process.
[Note: In the pre-submission consultation, it was suggested by landowners that the Streetscape Strategy should carry less weight, as it has not been independently examined. This was accepted by the consultants and the wording was amended so that development should merely “have regard to” the strategy.]

6.8.14 The Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan will detail its strategy, guided by Policy NP1. It will include the allocation of specific sites and levels of development, the parameters for development as well as proposals for the improvement to accessibility and the public realm. Proposals will be delivered through the granting of consents and the implementation of improvements set out in the Neighbourhood Plan. Whilst Policy ST4 has indicated a level of new housing as arising from the Neighbourhood Plan area, this is soley [sic] for the purposes of demonstrating its potential contribution to the overall supply of housing in the Borough. It will be for the Neighbourhood Plan process to determine locally the final levels of employment, housing and other uses that will come forward.

Policy NP 1
Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan
Within the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan area, as shown on the Proposals Map, priority will be given to the regeneration of Faversham Creek by retaining maritime activities (including the retention and improvement of wharfs and moorings, including for large craft) with complementary redevelopment opportunities for workshops/business uses, residential, small scale retail and restaurant uses. Where relevant, development of the area will:

Accord with the Neighbourhood Plan (once it has taken effect);
Provide for the restoration of and enhancement to the settings of listed and other important historic buildings;
The protection of open space and nature conservation interests and upgrading of the public realm;
Navigation improvements to the Creek (subject to appropriate mitigation of the impacts on the adjacent International Designations and the Shellfish Waters);
The provision of a publicly accessible creekside walkway;
High quality designs which respect their context;
Proposals which are acceptable in terms of flood risk; and
The remediation of contaminated sites.

ORDNANCE WHARF AND THE CREEK NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF THE TOWN COUNCIL

MONDAY 13th 7pm QE SCHOOL

Many of you will know that at the meeting last Tuesday, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group signed off the final draft of the Creek Neighbourhood Plan. It is better than the original but there are some flaws, the most crucial being that residential development on Ordnance Wharf is still permitted.

Ordnance Wharf stands at the focal point of the Creek Basin where the centre of the marine hub will be when the bridge opens. A residential element would contribute little to the housing shortage and would severely hamper the Purifier project. The Council’s consultant appears to believe that housing, a community centre, and shipbuilding can all be accommodated on one small site, and seems not to recognise that a designation that permits housing will raise the commercial value of the land to a level that effectively prices out all other uses.

So as it stands, the Plan puts much of the work carried out by volunteers on the project, together with the contributions of well-wishers throughout the Town, at risk. Would it not be better if the Council supported their efforts? What would it cost them to amend the designation for one site?

The Mayor has called an Extraordinary Meeting of the Town Council to approve the Plan. It will take place at 7 pm on Monday 13 October at the Queen Elizabeth grammar School. I know we all have other things to do, but this time the whole Town Council will be involved, and they can’t be wholly insensitive to the implications of what is being proposed.

The meeting will also consider the question of an opening bridge, which could unlock the potential of the Basin and increase the flow of private investment into the project. We don’t know what the Mayor is going to propose and it could be vital.

It is important that as many people as possible attend this meeting, to ensure that the Town Council understand that the issues are important to a broad cross-section of the residents of Faversham, regardless of their particular views.

Chris Wright  –  Chairman Faversham Creek Trust

The Draft Plan, the Alternative Plan, and the Town Council

Various options for the Swan Quay, Coach Depot and Oil Depot sites together with alternative strategies were recently excluded from the consultation draft of the Neighbourhood Plan. However an undertaking was given (both at a Steering Group meeting and a Faversham Town Council meeting) that alternative proposals would be sought as part of the consultation process.

The Brents Community Association and this Trust felt it was difficult for people to make informed and meaningful responses without knowing what the alternatives were, and the reasoning behind them. We also wanted to consult our membership (as we are required to do by the Steering Group’s Terms of Reference) before putting forward our own responses to the consultation.

We therefore decided to mount an exhibition for our members and for the public. It set out a different strategy together with alternative options alongside those in the draft Plan. BMM Weston joined us to consult on the company’s plans for redevelopment of its sites and regeneration of the Creek basin.

Throughout, we encouraged the public to engage with the Town Council’s consultation and complete the Questionnaire, partly through flyers that gave links to the Council’s website and details of the Council’s events.

With the help of an independent expert we developed a questionnaire survey which people were invited to complete before leaving our exhibition (copy attached). An online version is also available. As of 28th June, 840 people had attended the various exhibition sessions and just over half (450) had completed the survey.

Our survey analysis, to be carried out in accordance with independent professional advice, will not be completed until after the final exhibition session on 28 June; however the interim findings show some striking trends. In particular, the large majority (86%) of respondents favoured a regeneration strategy based on business, boats and community facilities, compared with under 2% in favour of a strategy focused on housing and footpaths. The remainder were uncertain or suggested various combinations.

This reflects previous consultations in 2012 and 2013, when the majority of people were clear that they did not want a plan for the Creek that prioritised waterfront housing.

What remains is for the Town Council to decide whether to reinstate our two organisations into the Steering Group, along with our evidence based mission to ensure that these findings are reflected in the Neighbourhood Plan, or whether to continue to reject alternatives to the current Draft Plan.

R. Telford

 

How to have your say on the future of Faversham Creek

The Town Council’s Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan has reached the Consultation Stage of the Pre-Submission Draft Plan. This is the opportunity for every resident in Faversham to have their say about the future development of many sites along the Creek.

The Town Council has an exhibition this Saturday afternoon, 7 June, from 1.30 pm to 5.30 pm in the Assembly Rooms, Preston Street. They are also holding a drop-in event at The Vaults in Preston Street on Wednesday, 11 June from 7 pm to 10 pm, and a Market Stall on Saturday, 21 June from 10 am to 4 pm. We encourage you to visit one of these events and study the Draft Plan.

You can see the printed draft plan at the Library or by contacting the Town Clerk, and also online at http://favershamcreekneighbourhoodplan.org.uk/consultation/
You will find a link to the Town Council’s questionnaire here too, and we urge you to fill it in with your views before the deadline of 5 pm on Monday 30 June.

We have a different vision for the Creek, which will regenerate our maritime heritage as well as providing many of the other things that the town needs, including footpaths, community facilities and housing. We have joined with the Brents Community Association and BMM Weston to create an exhibition which shows some of these ideas.

Many members of Faversham Creek Trust were among the 506 people who came to our Private and Public Exhibitions last Friday and Saturday in the Alexander Centre, and many contributed to the 281 completed questionnaires which will enable us to analyse your views and wishes. We will publish the results once the consultation period ends.

You can see some of the responses to our exhibition in this video on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuQLe1EaoIc

For those of you who were not able to come last weekend, we have moved our exhibition to the Purifier Building in Morrisons car park, and we are opening it to the public every Saturday morning in June from 10 am to 1 pm. Please come, and bring your friends, family and neighbours!

We will be happy to arrange special visits at other times for groups of people who cannot come on a Saturday morning, for example school groups or local business owners. Please email us ( favershamcreektrust@yahoo.co.uk ) with a phone contact and we will call you to arrange a suitable time and date.

Our exhibition displays some ideas about how the maritime heritage of the Royal Port of Faversham could be revived and enhanced, with space for repairing and restoring traditional vessels, moorings and storage space for boats. We plan to dredge the Basin (and continue dredging the Creek), and have an opening bridge with gates and sluices to control the water flow again. We will restore the wharves alongside BMM Weston for moorings and boat repairs.

Our vision includes workshops, skilled jobs, education and training, community facilities, a ‘living museum’, and the opportunity to make our town a much greater attraction for visitors who will bring money to the town. It also includes almost as many residential units as the Town Council’s plan, but ours will be homes to suit local people, mainly houses rather than apartments, with a large percentage of them being affordable – and they will not be on the flood plain beside the Creek, so they will not prevent the revival of our maritime heritage.

If you care about the future of Faversham, how it will look and feel for your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, please take the time to visit the exhibitions and make your views known by completing the Town Council’s questionnaire, and also ours.

You can find most of the information displayed in our exhibition on this website:

http://favershamcreekalliance.com/info.pdf

and complete our questionnaire online here:

http://surveymonkey.com/s/J3C2TNB

You can complete our survey from the link on this website, or print it and deliver it or post it to:

The Purifier Building
Morrisons Wharf
Faversham
ME13 7DY

Don’t miss this chance to shape the future of our Creek and our town for generations yet to come.