Creek Trust and BCA welcome the Neighbourhood Plan examiner’s report

The Faversham Creek Trust and the Brents Community Association, which made a joint submission to the Neighbourhood Plan examination process, have issued a joint statement on their response to the Independent Examiner’s report:

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN REPORT WELCOMED

The Faversham Creek Trust and the Brents Community Association welcome the Independent Examiner’s report on the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan.

The Examiner, Mr Timothy Jones, clearly listened carefully and objectively to all sides, and took time to study the Creekside area at all states of the tide, in order to understand it. While he has not accepted all the changes we had put forward, on the whole we believe he has been fair to everyone. We consider that the changes he has recommended will enable the plan to be seen as a defining document for Faversham’s future, in particular by requiring greater attention to the archaeological importance of the Creek and robust protection of existing important buildings, waterside features and employment opportunities.

Sue Akhurst, Chairman of the Faversham Creek Trust, said: “It was especially useful to have the Neighbourhood Plan set in the context of the strategic policies B1 and AAP2 of the adopted Swale Local Plan 2008, which focus on employment and protection of the maritime character of the Creek – for which we had consistently argued during the development of the plan. And of course we are pleased with the Examiner’s recognition of the work being carried out by the Trust at the Purifier Building.”

For the Brents Community Association, Chairman Mike Palmer said: “Working as we do to improve job opportunities for local unemployed people, we are encouraged by the importance the Examiner placed on employment uses. We also appreciate his comments on the Purifier Building, which we have used on our employment courses and where many local residents have worked as volunteers, and his recommendations for Swan Quay, which will help to protect the character of our local area.“

Our two organisations would like to thank the many people who have contributed to our efforts to present alternative ideas for the potential development of the Faversham Creek area, including Dr Pat Reid, Ray Harrison, the Faversham Society, Historic England – and the many hundreds of people from Faversham and further afield who have contributed to the consultations and the debate, and who have given their time and money towards the new Swing Bridge, which is such a vital part of regenerating Faversham Creek.

We welcome the Examiner’s recommendation that, subject to the incorporation of all his amendments, the plan may go to referendum with the whole of Faversham being given a vote. We trust that Faversham Town Council and Swale Borough Council will agree to incorporate all the required changes so that the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan may be brought to referendum without delay.

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