Consultation feedback – how is it being used?

The feedback from the Neighbourhood Plan consultation on June 6/7 will – we hope – be presented at the steering group meeting on 25 July. In the meantime, here is some of the feedback from the previous public consultation in May 2012, which was eventually published on the Faversham website in January 2013. It is not clear whether or how this feedback was analysed and interpreted, and in what way it has been used to inform the development of the plan – there are no details in the minutes of steering group meetings, and it was not mentioned at the June exhibition, where the illustrations were instead based on the “stakeholder workshop” in November 2012.

The options offered at the May 2012 consultation were employment only (1), housing only (2) and mixed development (3). In addition to the tick-box questionnaire responses, there were 167 written comments. These are the first 30 – a fairly representative sample:

“There are fewer places for job opportunities in Faversham. That is what the Council needs to concentrate on and remember that Faversham is not just full of middle class people and commuters. There is enough housing along the Creek.”

“It should stay as it is, an industrial space, in particular for boatyard/maritime activities. The housing proposals are inappropriate, misleading and will prevent the above industrial use continuing in its present format.”

“The Creek should still remain at the heart of the Community in every respect but not as the prerogative of the “gin and tonic” brigade. Better usage of existing buildings for traditional crafts and occupations and be very sympathetic to housing – especially affordable housing – built, low rise and appropriate.“

“I suspect that the over-riding need is to mobilize private sector funds for regeneration, which will require the provision for profit through residential construction. The Vision should reflect the commercial reality that housing development is necessary.”

“The Creek needs dredging. Option 3 – with minimum housing of relevant characteristics, no flats and no higher than present buildings or less.”

“Residential use should be sensitive to the Creek as a whole and be careful not to seem too “fenced in”. The Creek must retain industrial use as its primary function. Open space and wide prospects should be maintained and improved if possible.”

“Over development at Standard Quay will be to the detriment of the town and access to this area is not adequate to cope with additional traffic.”

“The proposed development at Ordnance Wharf is too large in scale, and would create problems for access. While a development of this space is desirable it should be scaled down, especially the height of the building.”

“I strongly object to the proposal for flats at Ordnance Wharf. The development is obtrusive and out-of–place within an historical industrial area.”

“Option 3 – This is the best proposal to encourage the economy of the town. Yes houses are needed but affordable houses. Yes businesses need to be sited within the town to boost jobs and economy.”

“Option 1 – housing would be suitable on sites 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 providing it is in keeping with the town and creek; and below the height of existing housing, so as not to dwarf the historic parts. Sites 1, 2, 8, 9, 10 and 12 should be kept as employment.”

“Option 3- site 1- the barge repair idea is fantastic and in keeping, Site 2 –Ordnance Wharf- the proposed building is not in keeping with area or town. The wharf should be re-opened as a wharf. Site 3 suitable for housing providing funds for sluice gate repair, dredging and Creekside walk. Sites 4, 5, 6 and 7 suitable or in keeping with housing. Sites 8,9 and 10 should be kept as a walking quay with marine employment only. Site 12, no development should be allowed because of extending the town boundary and increasing traffic through historic Abbey street.”

“I think the employment option is most appropriate for all 12 Creekside sites. I have to say the mixed use option would allow far too much housing which would reduce Faversham to a bland town, the like of which you can see anywhere. The objects sidestep the Vision for wall-to-wall housing, destroying Faversham’s uniqueness. This is a town built on maritime industry not housing.”

“Option 3 – Yes, but I am vehemently against the proposed monstrous housing at Ordnance Wharf. It should not be all housing and must be of a sympathetic scale.”

“Broadly speaking the mixed use option is good, but what will limit residential over-build? Site 2 with housing development is unsuitable, contravening your development principles, given the use of the Purifier building. The essential element appears to be to open up the Creek as a waterway along its full length for boats and pedestrians, maximize creek-related employment and allow housing only on sites 6 and 10 and only where traffic congestion will not be increased. There is no comment in any plan so far for traffic implications.”

“Prefer option 3 but how would you ensure fair process? And who would ensure housing does not turn into just high end market? The Vision must involve dredging the Creek.”

“Employment and tourism only. There should be no more residential development along the Creek it should be made usable for people to use for leisure time and for boat moorings and repairs. This would make it good for tourism and being close to Abbey Street. It should be kept in its historical state.”

“Option 2- the creek has already had too much new housing that has changed the environment around the Creekside. Further housing without thought of the access for residents on the already overused road network will ruin the whole area. A new access would be essential as the existing listed houses will not be able to withstand further traffic movements. In regards to Option 3 this would depend on how mixed and what sort of employment. There are no facilities in the town for employees to park vehicles. The proposals as displayed do not include this facility.”

“Under no circumstances should the proposed huge block of flats near the Purifier Building be allowed to be built. It would be totally inappropriate, far too big and out of keeping with the other buildings in the area.”

“Not only would this option (1) provide and enhance the diversity already present, but it would also provide more employment opportunities as well as stopping the area from stagnating which I’m sure an employment / residential option would not. Without the sluice gates operating the whole plan would falter, this is the crux of the matter. “

“Housing development would have to be strictly controlled and limited in favour of community businesses that will create jobs and opportunities. Swale must have a policy for creating youth and community based activities around the creek as well as housing and businesses. The future of Faversham will not be enhanced by blocks of residential flats. People will not come to Faversham to see these they will come to a creek alive with boats, barges and young people involved in apprenticeships, small shops and galleries, etc. Let’s preserve the history of Faversham and build a thriving future everyone can profit from and not just property developers. Small businesses must be given priority and ones that can be encouraged to create apprenticeships. Swale needs to develop a policy around creating opportunities for activities for children and young people around the creek-rowing, sailing, private clubs and a really good youth club. This should also include a wildlife/ecology centre to give information to the young about their Creek Heritage.”

“The reference to development in the Vision should be removed. There are limited employment opportunities in Faversham. Also the current road infrastructure is not adequate for an increase in population. The proposal at Ordnance Wharf is out-of-keeping with the town.”

“My only concern would be safety. Should materials that are potentially dangerous be in close proximity to housing development? Otherwise I much prefer the idea of using buildings for their most appropriate uses and to ensure the creek does not become “disneyfied”. Not all buildings are appropriate for employment so would be better used for housing but all housing is not appropriate. The Creek needs to retain some buildings for working opportunities and marine projects.”

“Support mixed use but only if infrastructure i.e., access, roads is in place.”

“I would like to see the creekside returned to a working boatyard as one of the main 3 remaining in the country. I strongly disapprove of any housing development.”

“Prefer option 3 with reservations.”

“Option 3 is better than 1 and 2 but this is a poorly conceived plan and the quality of the proposed buildings is very poor. Look at the monstrous building opposite the Ashford Road on the A2.”

“Ok providing things are appropriately managed and existing open spaces within the Conservation Area are respected.”

“Well designed housing on brown field sites should be used instead of Greenfield sites, but not over populated. A small section of the historic railway on wharfside should be retained as should a waterside boatway suitable for everyone to access (including disabled). The Saxon Shore Way should be diverted along the waterside with signage to all these attractions.”

“Faversham has a unique history in terms of boatbuilding. This option (1) would provide opportunities for young people.”

“It is imperative that boatbuilding can be continued at the Creek. This would be a tourist attraction, a foil to the background of our lovely medieval town of Faversham. Do not let the town down with the ill conceived building on Ordnance Wharf.”

“The combination can only be of benefit to the town as a whole, in my opinion with the exception of Ordnance wharf. The proposed plan will serve to safeguard the town’s heritage for the next generation. I am lucky to live here.”

“Prefers option 3. We need employment in Faversham for the residents. With housing only the town is in danger of becoming a dormitory town, especially with its good train links to London stations. We also need sympathetically designed affordable housing not a monstrously inappropriate block of flats as applies for Ordnance wharf, which should be an industrial site.”

“Just get rid of the mud and make a good waterway.”

“In general I approve. I have some reservations regarding the residential, particularly Ordnance Wharf, which should be 3 storeys only. The bridge needs to be reopened to make it commercially viable.”

“Object to the scale of Ordnance Wharf and the new build section of Belvedere Road, the old should be retained.”

“Various safeguards need to be in place to ensure harmonious co-existence. But mixed use development seems the way forward. It will bring the place alive and prevent it becoming a dead suburban area. Traffic flows need to be addressed; creekside walkways are a great idea but Ordnance Wharf development is too dense.”

“Creekside walk a priority. Support redevelopment of Swan Quay to give improved access and views of the Creek but there are no plans available at present. Development of SECOS site would be an improvement. Plan for BMM Weston and the Basin is needed. Ordnance Wharf proposal is too large.”

“There is enough if not too much housing along the Creek. But there is no reason why Standard House should not be retained as residential. Housing should not be included in the plan. It ruins the integrity of the creek environment as an industrial area. Faversham needs more jobs of all varieties and the original Creekside industrial sites are ideal. Why was housing ever considered?”

“Mixed use is ambiguous. I would support a proposal where both employment and housing is in each site wherever possible but not mixed use. i.e., housing only and employment only in different sites. However it has been pointed out to me that where it is a shared use, housing will take over. It is good that there is a community plan being done. Buildings must be appropriate in scale and height to the existing area, not 4/5 storey and should be within the financial reach of local people. There does not appear to be any social/affordable housing planned.”

“The proposed building on Ordnance wharf is much too large and too tall. A creekside walk on both sides would be a priority so walkers do not have to skirt the industrial estate.”

“Businesses should require access to the Creek. All housing will exclude public access. Mixed use is ‘all housing’ via the back door.”

“We prefer this option (3) as it retains the best of historic and maritime Faversham.”

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