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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Spring Evening Talks at the Fleur

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The Faversham Creek Trust Swing Bridge Fund

Faversham Creek Trust is collecting donations towards the new Swing Bridge. 

The benefit of donating via the Trust is that donations can attract Gift Aid if donors agree. Members of the Trust generally have agreed for Gift Aid to be collected from HMRC, but new donors need to sign a BRIDGE GIFT AID FORM

THIS ADDS 25% TO THE VALUE OF DONATIONS

These donations will be forwarded to the KCC Bridge Fund, along with the Gift Aid when it is claimed from HMRC.  The Terms and Conditions are exactly the same as those published by KCC;  An important condition is that in the event that the target is not reached, all donations will be returned to donors.

For that reason, it is important that if you are not a member of this Trust for whom we have contact details, then you must give your Name, Address, Email address, Telephone Number. None of this information will be passed on by FCT or KCC to any third party.

Donations can be made by direct transfer to the Trust’s Bank account;

Bank: HSBC   Sort-code: 40-21-35   Account number: 30076414

If possible, please add the transaction reference BRIDGE

if you are a Trust Member, please add your FCT Membership Number before ie 123BRIDGE.   This will allow us to refer to your Gift Aid agreement.

If you are paying by cheque, please make it payable to Faversham Creek Trust and send to;

The Treasurer
Faversham Creek Trust
Purifier Building
Morrison’s Wharf
North Lane
Faversham
KENT
ME13 7DY

 

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.

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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.’

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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

Queenborough Harbour Marina Reinstated after Consultation

After a public consultation and 70 Objections to the complete removal of the original Marina plan in favour of more houses, SBC reconsidered and reinstated an option for a Marina;

  • 􏱊  the majority of respondents wanted the adoption of the Alternative Marina Creek Plan by Messers Orpin, MacDonald and Bell; and
  • 􏱊  in the light of this, it is proposed that the Masterplan Addendum is altered to show the area to the south of the Creek as safeguarded for future Creekside leisure, commercial and open space uses. This leaves open the possibility of the Alternative Marina Creek Plan being implemented once the promoters gain funding for their scheme

Just shows what can be achieved by pushing back…

see; queenborough-and-rushenden-indicative-revised-land-use-plan-addendum-to-2010-adopted-masterplan

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MSBA Spring Conference Sat 7th March

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“Kingfisher” Launched Today

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The 14 foot traditionally made 2 man punt “Kingfisher” was launched on Stonebridge pond today . She will be used by volunteers for collecting weed and rubbish from the waterways of the old gunpowder works.

She was built by local, long term unemployed people as part of a course run by The Creek Learning Project in partnership with the Brents Community Association to help local unemployed people gain the confidence to get into work or volunteering. The programme was funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and under the expert guidance of Alan Thorne of The Purifier Yacht and Dinghy Co. the participants learnt team and boat building skills.

Constructed at the Purifier Building, the punt was made specifically to donate to The Friends and some course members have shown an interest in volunteering to use her.

Project Manager Brenda Chester said “Everyone enjoyed six weeks of training, advice and support”.

Fern Alder, Chair of The Friends of Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond, said “ I would like to say a big thank you, on behalf of the whole group, for the truly beautiful and very useful punt that has been made for us to use when we are clearing Stonebridge Pond.

We are thrilled to have had such wonderful support from staff and students of The Creek Learning Project who have all worked so hard with Alan Thorne in the Purifier building to create our new punt. “