How was it for you?

The organisers of the Neighbourhood Plan exhibition on June 7/8 have emphasised that the illustrations shown are not proposals, just something for people to react to. What was your reaction? Did the exhibition reflect your vision of the future of the creek – if not, what would you like to see instead? Are you happy with the consultation process?

Don’t forget: responses to the consultation have to be in by 29 June. Details and response forms available here.

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2 thoughts on “How was it for you?

  1. eric Glynn

    done so much research on this that I feel sick, and not inclined to share it all with you. This Plan is a horrendous waste of time and money , trust me

    Reply
  2. rtnotesfromthefield

    Comment on the plan at http://favershamcreekneighbourhoodplan.org.uk/comments/ and post here and on
    It is disappointing that so few comments have been submitted on line, as I write this there have been just 12 comments submitted in this way.
    The focus of a Neighbourhood Plan is on the “use and development of land”. The images are therefore largely irrelevant. The objective is to develop a shared vision for the neighbourhood and to set policies for the use and development of land in the area- it is the use of the land which is the issue.
    It is clear from the Localism Act that there is a presumption in favour of sustainable development and that the plan must be an appropriate strategy when considered against the reasonable alternatives.
    So far the process in Faversham has not felt like a “community-owned planning process”, which is the way it is described on favershamcreekneighbourhoodplan.org.uk
    Too few stakeholders engaged
    The group which has so far developed the Neighbourhood Plan clearly does not see the process in the same way as those of us excluded from the process do. From the outside it appears that the primary concern of the steering group has been with the expectations of developers, with the interests of people who have purchased land in the expectation of getting planning permission for development. The purchasers have gambled that they will get planning permissions which will enable them to recoup their investment and presumably make a profit. It is their risk, the purchased land which did not have the planning permissions which they now require.
    It should not be the purpose of the Steering Group to assist them in getting planning permissions – it is the Steering Groups to engage the broad community in the stakeholder consultation, so far they have not adequately done that. The secrecy with which the consultation process has been conducted, and the over emphasis on the landowners in defining the relevant stakeholders, made many people very fearful of what would result. There has been very limited engagement with the community on the north side of the creek, those who use the green space beside the creek and who have to cross it and the bridge each time they come into town.
    The drawings were developed “based on some of the proposals discussed by the Faversham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group with the landowners and modified as a result of those discussions” – hardly representative of the wide range of group who have an interest in the creek form dog walkers to ‘boaties’.
    The Neighbourhood Plan
    The vision and objectives are broad and present a wide range of ideas about how the creek might develop and meet many varied needs including reference to the “the creek’s rich and outstanding industrial and maritime heritage”. The site drawings and commentaries do not reflect the Steering Group’s own vision. It is odd that the Vision and Objectives does not recognise that the Purifier now has a use and a sustainable future.
    This appears to be significant because all four options for Ordnance Wharf are primarily residential despite the fact that any residents there may regard the established use of the Purifier Building as an industrial nuisance. There is no reference in the description of Ordnance Wharf to its historical use and heritage value. It seems that the Steering Group have leant over backwards to give the developer the housing he wants – why has there been no consideration of using the wharf as green space, as a picnic area or for tourism? The Steering Group has failed to consider any reasonable alternatives, as they are required by law to do.
    Swan Quay: the words refer to mixed use but the illustrations look as though it is monolithic and large scale housing. One might have more confidence in the proposal if there were site specific land use plans clearly showing the walkways and public access to the creek and the proportion of space for housing/industrial/offices/leisure use.
    The interests of children and young people in having access to the creek side and to the water is absent from the plan and there appears to be no seating areas for the elderly. It is also surprising that there is no specific mention of disability access. Have these stakeholders been consulted?
    Standard Quay: considering how much time the Steering Group has had to talk with the developer, and other interested parties this part of the plan is very vague, except in so far as it appears to be a plan for a restaurant and housing. Again a much more detailed land use plan specifying what might be done with each existing building and the vacant sites would increase confidence in the land use stipulations. What proportion of the space should be for what use? Is a car park on the site desirable or not in land use planning terms? What should be the unit size for any accommodation built there? How much social housing should be provided? Is this an appropriate site for larger units? Nothing about the warehouses and mixed industrial use?
    Former Frank and Whittome Building Fentiman’s Yard – the plan currently has nothing to say about this key site, the link point between Abbey Street and the Creek. Nothing said about its current use?
    It is surprising that there is so little detail after so much work, particularly surprising because the wider public consultation has still to take place.
    If anyone doubts the scale of the gap between what has so far been publicly consulted on and what needs to be achieved in the few months remaining take a look at the Neighbourhood Plan sent to the Inspector by Thame http://www.thametowncouncil.gov.uk/index.php?option=com_jdownloads&Itemid=148&view=finish&cid=179&catid=3

    Reply

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