The planning application to convert the black building into a restaurant and gallery/function room goes before the Swale Borough Council planning committee on 11 April at 7pm, in the council chamber of Swale House, Sittingbourne.
Faversham Town Council opposes the application, as do many other people, but Graham Thomas, the area planning officer, recommends approval. The conclusion of his report says:
“I note the concerns raised by the objectors, and would agree that this is a difficult proposal to determine. However, it should be noted that three applications made in the 1990s which had maritime purposes (sail-making, boat building and repairs) were approved by the Council. The Council has therefore been extremely supportive of proposed maritime uses here but, in each case the approvals issued were never implemented. It is therefore only reasonable for the Council to consider other sustainable uses for this building.
I believe that the proposed use will ensure the preservation of this simple but interesting warehouse building, also creating jobs and another reason to visit this historic part of the town. It must be remembered that a fire some fifty years ago removed much of the original fabric of the building, so that a significant proportion of what can be seen today is not the original fabric anyway. If the works are carried out in a sensitive manner (and the above conditions should ensure that they are), the end result will be a preserved, vibrant and useful listed building.”
See full report and recommendations – pages 33-49 (PDF), 30-36 (printed document)