Much of what has been stated recently here by Brian Caffarey about the Faversham Creek Trust’s view of the future of the Creek is untrue – see Comments on the report on the LEF. Both the Trust’s original detailed response to the Vanguard Project’s presentation last May, and a recent short version prepared for the November Neighbourhood Plan Workshop, set out clearly the Trust’s view about ALL the sites on the Creek, so it is disingenuous to claim that the Trust has no interest or view other than the Purifier.
It is revealing to look at how Creekside development has evolved in recent years. 75% of the Creekside waterfront below the bridge has already been allocated to housing; that leaves 25% to be split as mixed development; at 50:50 that is just 12.5% for employment, commercial, industrial or leisure, maritime related or otherwise. Sustainable?
Whilst many people, including Trust Members, would like to see the remaining sites reserved solely for employment and leisure based activities, the Trust’s formal view has always been to accept a mixed development overall, subject to generic and site specific constraints. That does not necessarily mean mixed development on each and every site, and certainly the Purifier and Ordnance are exceptions: the Trust has no option but to oppose the plans for Ordnance to protect its own Plans and investment. But this is not the sole focus of the Trust’s interest. The Trust, alongside the Consortium, has put much work into finding a solution to the need for a lifting Bridge; all that is on public record.
It is true that the Trust has not expressed a view on the issue of extended footpaths, other than ensuring that public access is built into any future Creekside development, but the Trust can assure Brian and the Creek Planners, that it fully supports whatever plans they have in this regard. However, this was a problem created by Developers, the ones who ‘have rights’ – whilst ignoring their responsibilities. It seems hard to argue that the very exclusivity marketed by developers, and paid for by residents, should be claimed back without some mitigation or compensation.
Finally, the Trust’s views are by no means the only ones that count. It is local residents who will ultimately determine the fate of the Neighbourhood Plan, and without their support, the Plan may be rejected at the forthcoming referendum on the Ordnance Wharf issue alone. It would be helpful if the Vanguard Steering group would clear the air by publishing the results of the consultation survey carried out last May, and the current status of the Plan, so that all can see how the matter stands. It is the detail that everyone wants to see.