Author Archives: Faversham Creek Trust


For FUTURE EVENTS always check in FUTURE EVENTS under MORE PAGES in the left hand column
Local resident Peter Kennett does fascinating talks about local history, illustrated with slides from his collection of over 4000 old postcards and photographs.
On 4 FEBRUARY he’ll be doing a special show about Faversham Creek – it’s organised by the Brents Community Association, but everyone’s welcome, not just members.
There are two shows, at 3pm and 7:30pm, in the Club Room at the Brents Tavern, Upper Brents, Faversham ME13 7DR. Entry £2 at the door.If you want to know more about the life and times of the Creek, and maybe something about flooding in the past, go along to the show

Saturday 8th February

Westbrook drop-in poster

Spring 2014
Talks about Faversham’s Maritime Heritage

Keep the last Tuesday afternoon of the month free to come to these social and informative events. They are being held at

The Fleur de Lys Hall, Gatefield Lane, Faversham
From 2.30 to 4.30 pm
Date Event
Tue 28 Jan Tea with the Trust – a social event
Tue 25 Feb The Conservation Area and the Creek
– Ray Harrison
Tue 25 Mar Archaeology and the Creek
– Dr Pat Reid
Tue 22 Apr Traditional Vessels of Faversham Creek
– Hugh Perks
Tue 27 May The Graveney Boat –
Charles Turner

These events are free, but there will be an exit collection to pay for the Fleur de Lys Hall and contribute to our fund raising.


Saturday 12 April     Quiz Evening    

Sunday 15 June         Dingy Race   

Sat 12 – Sun 13th July     Faversham Nautical Festival [KSA Event]

Friday  26  September       Barn Dance

Saturday 8th November         Oyster & Champagne Supper Dance


Social afternoon at the FLEUR Tuesday 28th

The Trust is holding an open house Social afternoon at the Fleur Meeting Room, next Tuesday 28th, from 2.30 till 4.30. Everyone is welcome.

Tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits will be available, as well as the usual Trust fundraising stuff for sale.

Come along and talk about your views of the creek  and what you think about our current activities, and what we should be doing. Are you interested in volunteering – the Trust relies on volunteers for almost everything, from restoring the Purifier to running events, distributing newsletters and leaflets, and manning market stalls.

AGM Tuesday 21st January at the Alexander Centre – Revised Agenda


the 2nd Annual General Meeting of Faversham Creek Trust

will be held at

The Alexander Centre, Preston St., Faversham, Kent ME13 8NZ 

on Tuesday 21st January 2014 at 7.30pm. 


1.  Chair’s welcome

2.  Minutes of previous AGM to be agreed and matters arising

3.  Annual Report of the Chairman – Christopher Wright

4.  To receive and consider the accounts for the year ended 30th June 2013

5.  Questions from the membership on the past year’s accounts and activity (to be taken by the Chair, Treasurer and all Trustees/Directors)

6. PurifierBuilding–David Gwyn Jones

7.  Training – SimonFoster

8.  Community Aspects of the Trust’sWork – GriseldaMussett

9.  Business Case for the Repair and Maintenance of Traditional Vessels – guest contribution from Philippa Dickenson on behalf of the Town Council’s investigation team 

10.  Appointment of Trustees/Directors:

a.  Chris Wright, Eldon Hinchliffe and James Rubinstein remain as Trustees /              Directors

b.  Resolution to re-appoint the following Trustees/Directors retiring by rotation:

Griselda Mussett,  Simon Foster,  David Gwyn Jones

c.  Resolution to re-appoint the following Trustees/Directors appointed by the Board during the year:

Debbie Lawther,  Robert Telford,  Roger Ely,  Ian Ludlow,

11.  Any other business.

12.  Refreshment Break

13.  Guest Speaker – Julian Kingston, Creek Boats, Deptford:  “The Fate of Historic Boatyards on the River Thames”.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Company Secretary. The Alexander Centre has disabled access, but if you have additional needs including large print documentation please contact Company Secretary, Jo Ludlow,  01795 533026,

Downloadable PDFs of Agenda and Biographies of the Patrons and Board of Directors/Trustees;

 Agenda for AGM 21 Jan 2014          Trustees Jan 2014

SQ Black Shed Restaurant Appeal Dismissed

The appeal against the decision by Swale Borough Council to refuse to grant planning permission for a restaurant in the No 1 Black Shed, has been dismissed.

However, it was dismissed only on the main issues of the preservation of the special interest of the listed building, and the preservation or enhancement of the character or appearance of the conservation area.

The three additional issues of vitality and viability, marine history and future maritime related use, and highway safety, were rejected. This resulted in costs being awarded against SBC for these issues.

It is worthwhile reading the reasoning of the Inspector [very readable] especially with regard to possible future creekside planning issues. It is critical to supply proper evidence to support claims.

Interestingly, the Inspector does mention ‘risk of flooding’ in his concluding remarks for dismissal of the appeal.

Full Text below – click on link





Our best wishes go especially to those who have suffered from the recent floods, and we hope that you were able to enjoy Christmas enough to face your restorations with new energy.

This Trust is here for the long term and must look as far into the future as we dare. There is light at the end of the immediate tunnel, and as long as we persevere and keep a steady helm, we will arrive at that position from where we can more clearly see and concentrate on the future, knowing that it is based upon a good and accepted plan for the future of the whole creek.

Unfortunately, these occasional extreme events may become an increasingly dominant fact of life in the future; the probability of an increasing frequency of severe weather [low pressure and northerly winds] developing extreme sea conditions in the North Sea and coinciding with big  tides, to generate bigger surges, is already being planned for by government agencies; even the possibility of a new Thames Barrier, down stream from the existing barrier, which will certainly exacerbate the local risk of flooding. 

But with so much human and financial misery resulting from the recent floods and the fact that they will happen again, and again, raises the question; why are the current proposals for the Creekside ignoring this issue as if it was insignificant.

You may be aware that there is a plan for the defence of the shoreline for the whole of the UK, known as the Shoreline Management Plan – SMP, and the SMP for Faversham is shown below;

SMP Fav-Nagden E424

Hold the Line means exactly what it says; the line of the existing flood defences will be maintained, or changed to meet changing conditions, ie improved. The Indicative Realignment Location here is actually the same as the Current Shoreline on this chart.

For further reading about the Shoreline Management Plan see;

However, it is interesting to note that the map published by the Environment Agency showing the extent of the possible flooding, does not reflect the aims of the SMP. It is difficult to understand what the connection is, if any, or what our expectations should be. Is any of this actually worth the paper it is written on.

Fav Creek Flood Map 17Dec13There also appear to be a number of anomalies with this map, not least that it differs from anecdotal memories of the recent event. So we will investigate this and publish a fuller explanation in due course.

Suffice it to say, it is difficult to understand how any future plan for the Creek can seriously propose to develop residential housing in a FLOOD PLAIN regardless of any nifty bureaucratic changes to the rules.

SQ Black Shed Restaurant – Appeal Hearing 18th December

Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Appeal By: Quayside Properties Ltd

Location: Building 1, Standard Quay, Abbey Road, Faversham, Kent, ME13 7BS

Appeal Ref: APP/V2255/A/13/2202894

I refer to my previous letter regarding the above appeal. The Planning Inspectorate have now informed me that the Informal Hearing will be held on 18 December at 10.00am at the Council Offices, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 3HT.

An Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State will attend at the place, date and time shown above to decide the appeal.

The Council has been asked to give notice of the Informal hearing to owners and occupiers of property near the site as well as other interested parties in order that they may, if they so desire, attend the Hearing and at the inspector’s discretion state their views on the matter either in person or through an accredited representative.

If you are disabled or anyone you know who wants to go to the Hearing is disabled, please contact the Council (01795 417313 or email, to confirm they can make proper arrangements such as parking spaces, access, seating arrangements and so on.

Documents relating to the appeal can be viewed at the Council’s offices at Development Services Reception, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, by prior arrangement.

The Planning Inspectorate, should you so request, either through the Inspector at the Hearing or in any letter to them on this matter, send you a copy of the decision letter.

Yours faithfully - A J Spiers - Planning Services




Gale force winds and large waves are expected on the whole of the east coast of England later on Thursday 5 December and through Friday 6 December, when spring tide levels will still be high. Where these combine with a large positive surge, significant coastal flooding, such as flooding of properties and parts of communities, could result.

A large positive surge is expected at locations on the east coast of Kent on both early Friday morning and Friday afternoon high tides.

Medway Internal Drainage Board says: “A high tide plus winds of up to 60mph at roughly02:17 and 14:45 on Friday could mean that seawalls might be overtopped through the Medway valley (Halling, Wouldham, Cuxton), the entire south side of the Isle of Sheppey, the south side of the Swale in particular Sittingbourne Creek and Faversham Creek through to Whitstable/Seasalter. Oare marshes was also mentioned. 

The worst case for Friday’s tide could be only 100mm less than the 1953 flood level.”

The Thames Barrier may be closed to protect the Thames, in which case the effect on the some parts of the North Kent Coast may be compounded.

The Trust’s Regeneration Plan for the Basin

Regeneration Plan for Faversham Creek Basin


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

URGENT Comments needed on application for Baltic House Wine Bar and Accommodation by tomorrow

Application Ref; SW/13/1243/[1244 for listed building consent]

Change of use from office to wine bar on ground floor and staff accommodation on first floor….

This is the start of conversion of these historic buildings into residential accommodation.

The opportunity to comment closes tomorrow Thursday 7th 5pm.

Details may be seen on; – you should be able to comment here but if not then Email;         Ref; SW/13/1243AJS Case 01675


There is much debate going around at present, about the state of the Neighbourhood Plan, some of it constructive, and some less so.

To be clear, this Trust’s position is as it has always been; that is to be a part of the process, now as a member of the Steering Group, to work to ensure the best possible outcome for the Creek, the people of the Town, and for the Trust’s particular interest in the Basin.

We will reproduce other people’s published considered views, and resulting comments, where we believe that they add value to debate, on the understanding that they should not necessarily be taken as reflecting the Trusts views, especially as to detail or criticism of the process or the organisations associated with it. Personal views are always acknowledged with the name of the correspondent. In future, the Trust’s views in editorials will be signed by the Editor.

This Trust will continue to work towards the regeneration of the Creek Basin for Employment purposes even when that declared interest results in it being excluded from discussion in the Steering Group. That is standard procedure in the formal council environment. You would expect a landowner to also be excluded on certain issues, were they on the Steering Group, which has been considered.

We look forward to the reconvened Town Council meeting next Monday, when the Land Uses for Sites and Streetscape Requirements proposals will be discussed; we appreciate and intend to take full advantage of the additional public question time given by the Mayor for this one item. Until then we ask that members of this Trust, and others, take a considered position and do nothing to alienate our friends and encourage our detractors.