Response to grounds of appeal, proposal for restaurant on Standard Quay, Faversham;
Case: 01675 -application SW/12/1523 – Appeal reference APP/V2255/A/13/2202894
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If you want to comment on the proposal for a restaurant, with exhibition rooms upstairs, in the Black shed, then you should write your own submission but you can use the Summary below as a guide only – please do not just copy it as it is likely to be discounted. The full FCT submission will be available shortly.
With planning appeals it is important that submissions focus on the Grounds of Appeal, so the same headings have been used with the addition of Flooding and Neighbourhood Plan.
The entire appeal is predicated upon the assumption that conversion to a restaurant is the only viable use for the building and the only way to preserve its structure. This is demonstrably untrue.
Viable maritime businesses were conducted recently from the building for almost two decades. They ceased not because they were unviable, but because appellant evicted the shipwrights company, refusing to renew the lease, having spent several years attempting to get them out prior to the end of their lease. The appellant has since made no attempt to replace them with similar activities.
The previous business had plans for expansion as it had secured additional grant funding to expand its apprenticeship scheme. The demand for such work still exists, and would provide a sustainable, viable use for the building which would be more appropriate to the building, its setting, as a group of listed buildings and the maritime heritage of the town.
There are very many buildings which are more suitable for use as restaurants, but very few sites for the type of maritime heritage work for which Standard Quay, and this building in particular, are ideally suited. This maritime use would require no damaging changes to the building or its setting within the conservation area; it would not increase traffic, parking or emergency access problems, it would not generate night-time use of the site, and it would be far more flood-resilient.
In our view the report of the Highways engineer was less than adequate, in that no traffic counts were undertaken, so therefore no environmental impact study carried out, in a conservation area with one of the finest medieval streets in the South East which narrows to single track as it joins with Standard Quay. The engineer also based his comments on evening opening only for the restaurant which is not the case.
This proposed change of use for Building 1 in this application is totally contrary to the consensus of the public response to recent proposals illustrated at an exhibition as part of the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan process, part of the Governments Localism agenda. The response was overwhelmingly in favour of retaining Standard Quay as a maritime area for the repair and restoration of boats and as a vital element in the regeneration of this ancient Cinque Port limb, providing sustainable benefits to the local economy. This public consensus on Standard Quay will be fed into the development of the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan now underway.
Allowing the appellant to use this building as a restaurant, art gallery and function room would prejudice the outcome of the Neighbourhood Plan and his application is premature at best.