There is evidence of boatbuilding at Standard Quay dating back to at least 1500 – and over the past twenty years that tradition has been revived. This ancient quay was brought back to life: it was a thriving, working boatyard.
It isn’t now.
The landowner wants to build houses and flats on the land around the quay, and to turn the old quayside buildings into restaurants and shops. There will be moorings for boats, but no boatyard facilities, so the Thames barges that once graced the quayside will have to go elsewhere.
Over recent years, thousands of people have petitioned the local authorities to preserve Standard Quay as a working boatyard and protect it from development, and Faversham residents still feel strongly about it.
But the Neighbourhood Plan steering group don’t seem to be listening. And even while the plan is in preparation, developers are jumping the gun with a planning application to turn a listed quayside building – which used to house boat building workshops – into a restaurant.
Some people like the idea of quayside cafés and shops – but how attractive will a dead quayside be, with no barges and nothing to look at but mud and houses? Will there still be quirky little shops and fleamarkets when the area is redeveloped and rents are raised? How realistic are the developers’ plans?
Standard Quay is one of a kind. There is nothing like it anywhere else. Can Faversham afford to lose it?
Let’s talk about Standard Quay.
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