Plans for an opening bridge and a working Creek basin, as proposed by the Faversham Creek Trust, are “unrealistic”, says landowner/developer Michael White, according to the Faversham News (March 6).
A feasible proposal, he suggests, might be “a lock at Chambers Wharf, where funding and grants could be available and produce tremendous advantages to Faversham.” This might, he says, include flood defences for the whole town, a generator on the lock creating electricity, 24-hour access to water in the Creek, a wet habitat for birds, increased housing value and business opportunities. His business, Quayside Properties, would contribute to the funding, along with KCC, Shepherd Neame, BMM Weston and the Environment Agency. Furthermore, he says, “the time frame could be guaranteed, not like the bridge and basin that has been ongoing for years.”
Mr White also hasn’t given up on his plans to use Building No 1 at Standard Quay as a “destination” restaurant plus gallery and function room, despite having lost an appeal against refusal of planning permission. He says he hasn’t completely eliminated maritime use of the Quay: there are still moorings for 15 boats and barges, and four maritime businesses are working there (Faversham Ships, PSB, Masterweld and Faversham Joinery). He says there are 66 people working at the Quay, compared with 5 when he took over. He says he’s “restored and improved” every building that would otherwise have fallen into disrepair.
The paper invites comments on the relative merits of Mr White’s case compared with that of the Faversham Creek Trust.