The prospects for Faversham Creek as a waterway look still worse once again – the town’s council this week approved a neighbourhood plan that allows for still more of its precious banks to be given over to housing. The decision seems to be opposed by many local people, as evidenced by recent consultations.
The film record (above) of the Faversham Council’s meeting to decide whether to approve a proposed neighbourhood plan was shot by Richard Fleury, who made the campaigning film The Quay.
There is also a report on the decisions made and the background at Visions of A Creek.
While allowing for housing in a neighbourhood plan does not mean that there is an obligation to build housing on the sites in question, it significantly increases the value of the plot – and so makes any use other than housing unlikely.
This is particularly bad news for the town’s Faversham Creek Trust, which had plans for the Ordnance Wharf site adjacent to its building as a much needed centre for mooring and maintaining sailing barges, among other things. The trust, which enjoys strong support in the town, will now probably have to continue more limited boatbuilding and water-based activities in close proximity to new housing.
Anyone who has observed the way our coastal ports have been redeveloped for housing and its aftermath will likely know of situations where residents and nearby boatyards and and moorings are frequently unhappy bedfellows – the boats and the water may be cute to look at and full of life during a brief visit, but living next to a working boatyard must be rather like living next to a garage servicing and modifying heavy trucks, but with added mud.
But of course home buyers may not see it that way until they move in and start complaining.
Meanwhile, fury is mounting in the town, as the links above show. Just hear a councillor as why the neighbourhood plan steering committee would draw up a plan that would undermine Faversham’s heritage and then hear the audience roar, for that is exactly what it thinks the steering committee has done in designating the centuries old historic Ordnance Wharf as suitable for housing.