Neighbourhood Plan Consultation Ends Monday 22nd

The Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan is in its final stage of Statutory Consultation before being presented to the Independent Examiner.

The consultation ends at 5 p.m. on Monday, 22 December 2014.

You can read the Submission Plan, Consultation Statement and Basic Condition Statement online through Swale Borough Council’s Website:

Faversham Creek Trust and the Brents Community Association are jointly submitting a detailed document, which you can read here:

We are not opposed to a Neighbourhood Plan for this area. We have always tried to work with the statutory bodies to achieve a plan that will truly benefit the Creek and the town, and will have the support of the community. We fear that the Plan that has been submitted would not deliver the kind of regeneration of the Creek that our members and many other members of the community have said they would like to see.

Our response addresses many procedural and statutory deficiencies in the way that the plan has been compiled. A major defect is that the opinions and constructive suggestions from members of our two organisations and many other people in the community have been largely ignored. The Basic Conditions Statement which accompanies the Plan claims ‘That the plan has broad local support from the residents, notwithstanding specific objections to certain aspects.’ Yet in the official consultation, under 30% of respondents said that they agreed with the plan as it stands.

The points under contention have not been changed. If you were one of the 70% who said they did not agree with the plan, now is the time to tell them again that you disagree.

For example, on Ordnance Wharf, the Consultation Statement says there was ‘overwhelming support for Option B’ (non-residential use). Yet the Submission Plan allows residential use on this site. People’s strong views on other sites, particularly Swan Quay and Standard Quay, have also been ignored.

Please either send your own comments on this Submission Plan, and/or endorse our document (the link is above) if you agree with the points that we make.


or write to the Planning Policy Manager at Swale Borough Council.

Your comments must be received by Monday, 22 December at 5 p.m.

Thank you for your support.

Memorial to Arthur Percival

Our Chairman Chris Wright announced last night that our community room in the Purifier Building will be named in honour of the late Arthur Percival. The decision was reached unanimously by our Board members and has been approved by Arthur’s wife Dorothy.  Chris had spoken earlier in the day at the Memorial Service in the Parish Church, where hundreds of people including the Mayor, our MP Hugh Robertson, and town councillors heard about Arthur’s lifelong dedication to the conservation and community of Faversham.

A new Faversham Christmas carol was also performed by the Fleur Singers in public for the first time at the well-attended Members’ Night. Written by Trust members Griselda and Andrew Mussett, it describes how three traditional ships come up the Creek on Christmas Day. Copies have been sent to all the local schools for their free use.


Members’ Night

Members are invited to the Purifier Building on Tuesday 9 December from 6 – 8.30pm, for a glass of wine and some informal carol-singing.

We’ll be glad to welcome Andrew Mussett and some of the Fleur Singers to help with the music.  They will bring song-sheets for everyone.

If you are able to contribute some snacks such as mince pies or cheese straws, please let us know in advance – ring Griselda on F 538821      As there is no heating in the building, we advise you to ‘wrap up warm’.


Our Third AGM and look where we have got to

This Trust had so much to report at its third Annual General Meeting at the Alexander Centre on 25 November that speakers had to keep to a strict timetable to stop the meeting over-running.

Following a heartfelt minute’s silence in memory of Arthur Percival, a full house of over one hundred members heard a brisk round-up of the past year’s work from the leaders of the Trust’s various working groups.


Tremendous progress has been made on the Purifier building, which now has a three-phase electrical system, sanitary facilities and kitchens, and houses a block maker, a dinghy maker, the Shipwright’s Hall for the apprentices, and a room for meetings and public events. Work on a new staircase and new glazing is under way. The value of the work has been recognised far beyond Faversham, with the project and its volunteers receiving a number of prestigious awards.

The building is now ready for the launch of one the Trust’s primary objectives, a training scheme for shipwrights. The audience was told that the long process of preparing course materials and modules, based on the classic yacht Mayhi which until recently could be seen in the Shipwright’s Hall, will soon be completed, and funding is in place.

Recruitment of the first trainees will begin in early 2015. Under the guidance of master shipwright Simon Grillet they will learn the skills of their trade by constructing a copy of the Mayhi, before progressing to work on other vessels. The Mayhi copies will be sold, helping to make the scheme self-funding – there are already buyers lined up for the first two.

The Purifier building is also becoming such a popular community venue that a formal booking system has had to be introduced. The past year’s events have included the Faversham Society’s Open House Scheme, the Let’s make the creek work for Faversham exhibition, the Nautical Festival, the Artists’ Open House Scheme, and most recently the Brents Community Association’s Picture the Creek exhibition which attracted nearly 450 people over one weekend.

It is also being used for Creek Learning, a six-week programme developed by the Brents Community Association, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and run in partnership with the Trust, with input from many other community groups and local businesses. The aim is to help local long-term unemployed people to develop employability, IT and life skills and to expand their horizons.

The Creek provides a valuable focal point for several aspects of the programme, including a project at the Purifier building for participants to design and build a punt for the Friends of the Westbrook to use for clearing weed on Stonebridge Pond – a great example of a joint community initiative.

Just four weeks into the first Creek Learning programme, four of the 14 participants have already been offered full time work, some are doing voluntary work and others are looking into setting up a new business.

The Trust is now reaching out to a wider audience, with public events including a Barn Dance, an evening of sea shanties, a sell-out series of ‘Tea and Talks’ during the winter and spring, which it plans to re-start in 2015, and a new project with the local secondary schools, Raising Heritage Awareness.

As a reminder of our recent maritime heritage, the AGM was brought to a lively close with an illustrated talk by Professor Hugh Perks about some of his dramatic and amusing experiences when working on Thames sailing barges in the 1950s.

After the meeting, chairman Chris Wright said: “Work is going on all the time and it’s easy to take it for granted. It’s only when you add it up like this that you realise how far we’ve come. We’ve faced up to the doubters and shown we can deliver the goods. Seeing how much we’ve done in just three years, with volunteers and virtually no public funding, it gives us great confidence in what we can achieve in the future.”


Sat 29th Salty Sailors, Shanties & Shyppe Swallowers on LV21

Salty Sailors, Shanties & Shyppe Swallowers

on board the Light Vessel 21 moored at Gillingham Pier

Pier Approach Road, Gillingham, Kent ME7 1RX

Saturday 29th November | 6pm – 12pm |

Admission: FREE & Cash Pay Bar

Roll up your bell-bottom trousers and join the LV21 crew for an entertaining free evening celebrating and sharing tales of our rich local maritime heritage.

The ship is decked from stem to stern with volunteers from our Culture Guide partner organisations Big Fish Arts, Faversham Creek Trust, Medway Queen Preservation Society and The Criterion Blue Town Heritage Centre. Plumb the depths of these restoration and heritage projects and enjoy the nautically themed entertainment onboard while quenching your thirst with a grog or two.

Includes free entertainment from The Art of the Magic Lantern, Big Fish Arts, Sam the Shantyman and information on the Culture Guides project.

AGM Tuesday 25th Alexander Centre 7.30pm


The Trust’s AGM will be held tomorrow Tuesday 25th November at 7.00 for 7.30 start in the Alexander Centre

New and Rejoining Members should arrive 6.30 to 7.00 to allow enough time for the admin process…

 afterwards, Hugh Perks will give one of his unique talks on the history of our Creek, [wake up at the back…]

AGM Tuesday 25th Alexander Centre 7.30pm


The Trust’s AGM will be held tomorrow Tuesday 25th November at 7.00 for 7.30 start in the Alexander Centre

New and Rejoining Members should arrive a little earlier to allow enough time for the admin process…

 afterwards, Hugh Perks will give one of his unique talks on the history of our Creek