HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS AND EVERYONE WHO HAS THE FUTURE OF THE CREEK AT HEART.
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;
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; http://www.se-coastalgroup.org.uk
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.
There 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.