This Application was withdrawn on 8th June although we were not told until the 13th June.
Letter to the Editor, Faversham News, 7 June 2010 – ORDNANCE WHARF
We hope that Swale planners will have the sense to reject not only the current planning application for Ordnance Wharf [Gardner Digs, Faversham News, May 24] but also any future applications for housing on the site, even if they’re a lot better-looking than this one.
It’s not just about size and appearance (and there’s nothing inherently wrong with modern design: Faversham could do with some good 21st-century architecture and less of the usual pastiche). It’s about function.
Faversham Creek has the potential to be the town’s biggest asset. Our councillors should ensure that any waterside developments are for long-term community benefit – employment, visitor attractions, public spaces, flood prevention – rather than short-term private profit.
Let’s have no pretence that residential development here would serve a social purpose by fulfilling housing need. This is prime waterfront property for the privileged. Concreting over the Creekside and turning it into a dormitory estate will kill off any prospect of a living, working, interesting Creek. Housing on Ordnance Wharf in particular will stifle any development of maritime activities in the Creek basin.
This is not just speculative scaremongering. Your front-page story [End of an era as last dry dock goes, Faversham News, May 24] shows how it’s already happening. Standard Quay risks shooting itself in the foot with gentrification driving away the boatyard activities that are its lifeblood and its greatest attraction.
In response to the public consultation on the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan, we suggested that the Creekside area should be zoned. In Zone 1 (fronting the Creek, including Ordnance Wharf and other sites around the basin) any development should be small-scale, low-rise and low-density, with plenty of open space and access to the waterfront – and it should be primarily for employment or public amenity. Residential development should be confined to Zone 2 (the rest of the area).
We further suggested that Swale should ring-fence s106/CIL receipts from any such developments for long-term investment in Faversham Creek, and that it should impose a requirement for zero- carbon housebuilding standards, making Faversham a centre of excellence for eco-design and construction.
While the consultation is still in progress, surely there should be a moratorium on any planning permission for Creekside housing developments – otherwise the bulldozers will have moved in before we have a chance to vote on the Neighbourhood Plan in the August 2013 referendum, making a complete nonsense of local democracy.
Hilary Whelan & Chris Berry Faversham