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Objections to Ordnance Wharf

The Faversham Society Board has not yet determined its view of the proposed development on Ordnance Wharf. However, many are already objecting and talking about the proposed development. This is merely a list of reasons people are giving for objecting.

This image of the Priory taken 18th July from the public footpath on Morrison's Quay reveals that the proposed development would block this iconic view with a permanent obstruction. The trees currently block some of the view but a) they are impermanent and b) seasonal. The developer has not provided the scale contextual drawings that would normally be expected and which would reveal this impact.

(c) Robin Warren

There is also the question of what it will look like from Stonebridge Pond, it will tower above the trees

This photograph shows the view in winter.

  1. The development is described as three-storey, In fact, it is four storeys with parking on the ground floor. [A storey describes any level part of a building with a floor that could be used by people (for living, work, storage, recreation, et cetera)] The Ordnance Wharf Site Specific Policies in the local plan [OW2] specifies "no new building shall be more than three storeys in height."
  2. The developer should provide accurate scale drawings showing how the proposed development relates to the Purifier Building, the Priory and the gunpowder walls on Flood Lane.
  3. A detailed Heritage Statement should form part of this Application since the Wharf was identified as an undesignated heritage asset under the Creek Neighbourhood Plan, and it also stands within the designated heritage asset of the Faversham Conservation Area. Works that alter it will, therefore, have an effect for better or worse on its architectural/historic character and also on the character of the Conservation Area. A Heritage Statement should be required before the application is considered.
  4. There is limited street parking and the use of car parking spaces for dinghies should not be permitted. For properties of this value two car parking spaces per property and some visitor parking should be required.
  5. As explained by Eldon Hinchcliffe this is an unsuitable site for a dinghy sailing club.
  6. Vehicular access on to Brent Road/Hill will be problematic particularly so given the proposed shared use of Flood Lane for vehicles and pedestrians.
  7. Ordnance Wharf was part of the town's gunpowder industry, the clue is in the name. The wharf lies between the two outflows from Stonebridge Pond which powered the watermills which ground gunpowder. The proposed development makes no contribution to maintaining and interpreting this important part of our heritage.
  8. This housing development is incompatible with the development of the basin for maritime regeneration, a purpose for which a considerable public investment is imminent. A public investment which includes a significant element of public subscription for a movable bridge for creek maritime heritage and not for further unaffordable housing development.
  9. With very large numbers of new houses being built around Faversham and more expected, 7 dwellings makes no significant contribution to meeting housing targets set by central government and will certainly not meet local housing need.
  10. The community use elements of the proposals are for a cafe and a dinghy sailing club. Eldon Hinchcliffe's analysis suggests that the dinghy club will fail - a boathouse and slipway for use by the Faversham residents would be more appropriate and sustainable. The community use anticipated for the cafe is not specified but it is unlikely that it would attract the local community. The meeting room use is unspecified.
  11. In March 2020, Faversham community groups working in coordination with the Environment Agency (EA) installed eel passes on the sluices that feed those two branches of Faversham Creek 20-30m upstream of Ordnance Wharf. European eels are a Critically Endangered species, the EA has identified improved passibility of sluices and other barriers to be the biggest contribution that the UK can make to eel conservation, and the Kent Nature Partnership has identified improved access to freshwater habitat for eels as one of its immediate priorities. Nothing should be done at Ordnance Wharf that has a negative impact on eel movements. That should include assessing any impact that artificial lighting from new housing on Ordnance Wharf might have on migrating elvers (which navigate by the moon).
  12. If the development is permitted SBC needs to ensure that the public rights of way be legally protected. SBC holds legal title [K708886] over some of the land included in the development. Legal title [74625] included a covenant guaranteeing: "A right of way at all times and for all purposes over and along " Flood Lane.
  13. Legal title K549889 included a covenant protecting free access to the creek. If planning permission is granted then this right needs to be protected in the permission to ensure access rights for the Faversham Creek Trust at the Purifier Building and for barges once the moveable bridge is installed.
  14. The proposed walkway on both sides of the development and the undercroft passage should be legally defined as unrestricted public rights of way.
(c) Stephen Rayner

July 19, 2020

Leave a Reply

7 comments on “Objections to Ordnance Wharf”

  1. Dear Jaunts - Just to reply to your comment about Faversham Creek Trust and Purifier Building activity. Our efforts to get more maritime activities happening in the Basin and Creek are continuing! Since 2012, we have let space to Alan Thorne, Purifier Yachts Co., and Colin Frake - maker of blocks for sailing vessels and metal parts for same. Both lets continue, and both men have continued their work in the Purifier during lockdown. Mr. Thorne had initiated a community rowing skiff building project prior to lockdown. So far this involves building two St. Ayles skiffs, with others being ordered by the Conyer boatyard and others. If you would like to be involved in building one of the FCT skiffs, after lockdown, contact me and I’ll put you in touch with Alan. Make no mistake, Faversham Creek Trust persists!

  2. A further reply to 'jaunts'.

    I'm certainly no nimby. I would love to see the creek change from it's current neglected state but only if APPROPRIATE use is made of it.

    There is a national shortage of boat and especially barge repair facilities, a situation that Faversham is well placed to exploit. Countless towns have squandered their waterside facilities to house a few wealthy people and Faversham should not be eager to follow.

    I also made no mention of this particular site being suitable for affordable housing. Even the laziest of glances at my post would have made it clear that I consider the site totally inappropriate for ANY housing.

    Maritime based industries can, of course, use the creek itself to bring in supplies so it is not relevant that it is "hemmed in". Residents living in houses on the other hand have no choice but to use the already too narrow and congested roads.

    Also you will find plenty of people in the centre of Faversham who are against housing development in this particularly unsuitable area and to say otherwise completely misreads the situation.

  3. The neglected state of the wharf is entirely down to its owner. The whole Basin has been in the doldrums because the bridge won't let vessels in. Once KCC fulfils its promise to give us an opening bridge, things will change.
    I always find it interesting that all the old houses in town are in West Street and Court St/Abbey St... ie, WELL ABOVE the sea-flood level. The basin area floods, as we all know. It is madness to build where you know it's going to flood - it always brings costs to the community, let alone to the poor householders who didn't realise.... or thought it would never happen to them.
    There are so many reasons why putting residential development there would be wrong... the end of the Basin project for a start.
    Wouldn't be amusing if this plan gets the go-ahead and then we all start campaigning to NOT have an opening bridge.....

  4. In reply to Alan Wood’s posting it stands to reason that a site like the one at Ordnance Wharf is never going to be a highly profitable one to develop because of the very disadvantages that he outlines viz there may be contamination on the site which will need to be remedied and the sides of the wharf will need to be stabilised. No builder of social housing would want to take that on as it could never be “low cost”.

    In any properly planned town industry would be zoned to an area with good accessibility to transport links and not in a zone hemmed in by housing and an ancient market town. The industries that were on the creek side have, with the exception of the brewery and BMM Weston, gone and they will not be coming back. I very much doubt that the brewery would choose its current site if it was starting afresh too. Nimbys like Mr Wood should give up on this ridiculous suburbanite’s dream that the creek side is ripe for a renaissance in ancient maritime craft industries - an attempt to facilitate this was done by the Creek Trust Which had my support but there seems to be very little activity at the Purifier Building these days as far as I can see.

    I am very happy with where I live in Faversham but anyone living in the centre of Faversham will, I am sure, agree that the Ordnance Wharf and the Creek Shackery are a blight on the town in their current state and the proposed development is a move in the right direction.

  5. Replying to 'Jaunts' - I actually see the proposed development as an attempt to hijack the work so many of us have been doing for years, to bring maritime activity back to the Creek and Basin. Development on Ordnance Wharf, an increase in its amenity value, will follow the new opening bridge, which at long last is just around the turn of the year. There are SO many houses being build around Faversham; no more are needed on the Creek. None of the proposed houses would be 'affordable', where the Local Plan and Creek Neighbourhood Plan require 35% to be affordable. The proposal is tricky regarding size of the buildings. I count ground floors as a storey, so these buildings would be 4 and 5 storeys high, not 3 and 4. The Purifier Building would be dwarfed. The view of Davington Tower would be lost. The whole area would be dominated. And access to the whole view of our Gunpower heritage would be lost - that's unique to our town. So many people in town want to see barges back in the Basin! They won't come if these houses are there.

  6. It seems to me that the only positive benefits of this development are in the landowner's wallet.
    Faversham needs affordable housing. This is not it.
    The land is likely contaminated by previous industrial use.
    Access is limited by narrow roads.
    The creek is surrounded by "industrial shackery" because it has always, and could be again, an industrial part of town. Why did jaunts@icloud.com move to a part of town they find ugly and then proceed to moan about it?
    This part of town is totally unsuitable for housing, does no one remember that it floods?

  7. This seems to me to be a positive attempt to improve a completely derelict part of the town. Currently there is no amenity value to Ordnance Wharf and this is a much better place to build houses than on Grade 1 farmland surrounding the town. The proposed buildings are not objectionable in design or scale particularly bearing in mind that most of the Creek’s surroundings are industrial shackery. As someone who lives near to the Creek I am pleased to see this proposed development and wish it well. Any loss of heritage is infinitesimally small and far outweighed by the positive benefits.

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