There are references to Faversham and the Creek throughout the Swale Local Plan, but this is the wording of the main section relating to the Creek and the Neighbourhood Plan. The deadline for comments on the Local Plan is 5pm on Friday 30 January 2015.
The Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan
6.8.8 The Faversham Creek area is part of the town’s extensive conservation area and contains a number of historic buildings, together with traditional marine related activities and a series of green spaces. All contribute to the character of the area and represent an important asset to the town.
6.8.9 The Creek is operating under a number of complex constraints. Navigation is restricted in parts by a loss of depth and width to the channel and there is no longer safe navigation for large craft in its Basin due to silting. Navigation into the Basin is also restricted by a defective swing bridge at Bridge Road. Navigation could also be improved by dredging, but in addition to its costs, there are likely to be limitations imposed on large scale industrial dredging of the Creek by the Swale Special Protection Area (SPA).
6.8.10 Flood risk, particularly in relation to the re-use of previously developed land within the 1:20 year flood zone of Faversham Creek, must be carefully assessed and managed, whilst a number of these sites are likely to be contaminated and require some remediation work. A further issue is that the attractive waterside environment of the creekside area has not had the same investment to improve the quality of its environment as the town centre. There are also a number of historic buildings needing restoration.
6.8.11 For these reasons, the regeneration of Faversham Creek, whilst protecting the rich maritime, industrial and landscape heritage for economic, environmental and educational purposes, is the principal objective. This has been strongly supported by local consultation.(6.4)* This analysis indicates that the Neighbourhood Plan should seek to regenerate Faversham Creek by focusing on: clusters of heritage assets and marine-related activities with regeneration potential; navigation improvements to the Creek through a combination of sluicing and smaller scale injection dredging; protecting and enhancing important green spaces and upgrading the public realm within the area; and maximising pedestrian links between the Creek and the town, along the creekside and to wider
*6.4 is: “Stakeholder Consultation and Options Report 2009. Urban Initiatives for SBC and Developing proposals and future planning policy options to deliver regeneration of the Creek area 2010. Tony Fullwood Associates for SBC.”
Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan Vision
The Creek at the heart of Faversham. Faversham Creek is leading the regeneration of the town; a place where we can celebrate its rich history and attractive appearance; a place where we enjoy spending time, both on and off the water; a place where boats, residents and visitors want to be. A place where developments integrate the needs of people and nature and where its distinctive character and identity is rooted in its traditional industries and enriched by new businesses.
[Note: This differs from the wording of the Vision in the latest version of the Neighbourhood Plan, which was changed in response to landowner comments.]
Land allocations for new development
6.8.12 Within the areas of heritage/marine-related activity adjoining the Creek, listed and other historic buildings and maritime uses, wharves and moorings important to the character of the Creek should be retained and, where necessary, restored alongside complementary redevelopment opportunities. Given the location of these areas within the functional floodplain, and the historic association with the Creek, workshops/business uses, facilities for moored boats (e.g. showers/toilets) and small scale retail and restaurant uses would be best able to address these issues and improve the visitor attraction to the area.(6.5) Dependent on design, amenity and flood risk considerations, residential development could be permitted above ground floor level to assist with the viability of mixed use schemes and to provide activity throughout the day and evening. On some sites, mixed-use development would be unsuitable and on these sites 100% residential development would be acceptable. New buildings should be of a sensitive design with their scale and context respecting the setting of the listed building and the adjoining creekside buildings.
6.8.13 A Faversham Creek Streetscape Strategy has been prepared and adopted by the Swale Joint Transport Board which seeks to extend town centre streetscape enhancements to the creekside area. The principal aim of the strategy is that improvements in the public realm around Faversham Creek should respond to and enhance the character and distinctiveness of the creekside area. The Strategy outlines the guiding principles regarding the improvements to the streetscape of the creekside area and establishes guidelines for the design of specific items in the overall streetscape. The Strategy also sets out guidance for creek streetscape enhancements for discrete areas of the creekside. The priorities for implementation will be set through the Neighbourhood Plan process.
[Note: In the pre-submission consultation, it was suggested by landowners that the Streetscape Strategy should carry less weight, as it has not been independently examined. This was accepted by the consultants and the wording was amended so that development should merely “have regard to” the strategy.]
6.8.14 The Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan will detail its strategy, guided by Policy NP1. It will include the allocation of specific sites and levels of development, the parameters for development as well as proposals for the improvement to accessibility and the public realm. Proposals will be delivered through the granting of consents and the implementation of improvements set out in the Neighbourhood Plan. Whilst Policy ST4 has indicated a level of new housing as arising from the Neighbourhood Plan area, this is soley [sic] for the purposes of demonstrating its potential contribution to the overall supply of housing in the Borough. It will be for the Neighbourhood Plan process to determine locally the final levels of employment, housing and other uses that will come forward.
Policy NP 1
Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan
Within the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan area, as shown on the Proposals Map, priority will be given to the regeneration of Faversham Creek by retaining maritime activities (including the retention and improvement of wharfs and moorings, including for large craft) with complementary redevelopment opportunities for workshops/business uses, residential, small scale retail and restaurant uses. Where relevant, development of the area will:
- Accord with the Neighbourhood Plan (once it has taken effect);
- Provide for the restoration of and enhancement to the settings of listed and other important historic buildings;
- The protection of open space and nature conservation interests and upgrading of the public realm;
- Navigation improvements to the Creek (subject to appropriate mitigation of the impacts on the adjacent International Designations and the Shellfish Waters);
- The provision of a publicly accessible creekside walkway;
- High quality designs which respect their context;
- Proposals which are acceptable in terms of flood risk; and
- The remediation of contaminated sites.