The Faversham Society writes to object to JB Planning Associates Article 13 Application for Planning Permission to develop 180 dwellings, “internal access roads, footpaths, cycleways, open space and landscaping, drainage, utilities and service infrastructure works.”
We have the following major concerns
The developer’s notice in the newspaper says that “All detailed matters are reserved for subsequent approval except for access to Abbey Fields”. Has this access already been agreed?
Access is difficult through Abbey Fields or requiring a new bridge over the railway line. Abbey Fields is narrow and in poor condition and exits on to Whitstable Road at an already dangerous junction with poor sightlines.
• The setting of the town.
Faversham is a traditional market town set within an agricultural landscape. This setting has been lost to the south and west of the town through housing developments. FM7 lies to the north-east, from the Saxon Shore Way there are views of Faversham in its creek setting. The views across Abbey Fields to St Mary’s of Charity are important to Faversham’s sense of place.
• Flood Risk
This area is reported to have flooded in 1953 with climate change and the plans for managed realignment the risk of flooding is heightened. The developer should not be permitted to develop housing leaving the costs of flood defences and post-flood restoration to the public purse or other householders through increased insurance changes
The site is adjacent to the Conservation Area, listed buildings and part of the site is within the locally designated Abbey Fields Local Wildlife Site. It lies within the Goodnestone Grasslands landscape character are and is adjacent to the AHLV – Kent Level within the Swale and surrounding marshes, a status re-confirmed in the 2019 study.
• Landscape Sensitivity.
We dissent from the assessment of the site as “moderate-high overall sensitivity to future change from residential and employment development.” In our view, the site is highly sensitive and important to Faversham’s identity as a historic market town at the heart of a high-value agricultural area.
• Development Constraints
In the unfortunate event that that permission is granted then all of the Guidance on page 342 of the Landscape Sensitivity Assessment on the agenda of the Local Plan Panel Meeting of 27 November, 2019 should be applied.