Planning guidelines for developers: transport issues

Planning guidelines for developers:

Facing up to the transport issues

Over the last two years, members of the Faversham Society have observed with increasing concern the proposals for road layout and traffic management submitted by developers in their planning applications for residential developments in the area, and their likely impact on the level of road traffic congestion, noise and pollution.  Many of these have been approved by the County Council as the highway authority responsible for roads in the affected area.  At its meeting on 20 November, the Society’s Board endorsed the following recommendations drafted by a team drawn from the Faversham Future Forum for consideration by the County Council.

 

1 Vehicular traffic generated by a new development should not erode the environment, threaten people’s safety, or worsen congestion.  Since small traffic increases can have a disproportionate effect on a congested network, the impact should be assessed not in isolation but in conjunction with other schemes approved or under consideration.

 

Relevant to ‘The value of good design’, Section 1.6 Movements and Connections, and ‘Creating the Design’, Section 2.1.2: Movement Appraisal.
2 To prevent ‘enclaves’ of isolated housing, the layout should incorporate road and footway connections to neighbouring developments, and allow for connections to future developments around the perimeter.

 

‘Creating the Design’, Section 2. 2: Generating the layout
3 By means of a comprehensive, joined-up network incorporating routes for buses, pedestrians and cyclists, the development should allow and indeed encourage residents to use modes of travel other than the car.  The network should provide safe crossings not only within the perimeter but across potential barriers around the periphery such as busy traffic routes and rail lines.

 

‘Creating the Design’, Section 2.3: Designing for movement
4 Residential roads should be configured with a design speed of 20 mph.  Compliance should be encouraged with imaginative design rather than mandatory signs and road markings.

 

‘Creating the Design’, Section 2. 2: Generating the layout
5 Developers should assess the impact of the traffic generated by the proposed development on the levels of exhaust pollution and other particulate emissions over the wider network, and adopt measures for mitigating any negative effects.  No development should be permitted to add to pollution on the wider network in places where existing levels are at or above the safe limits recognised by the World Health Organisation and the European Union.  ‘Making It Happen’, Section on Sustainable Solutions

 

Faversham Society Board of Trustees, 28 November 2018

Where’s Our Bridge? Report of the Members’ and Guests’ Meeting 22/10/2018

42 people attended including a number of town councillors – one member of the press was also present.

 

After everyone was invited to give their views and share information – a process which took 90 minutes, it was clear that the meeting had been fully and well informed and that there was unanimity amongst those present that Faversham needed to press hard for promises to be kept and for action to result to “swing the bridge”. The consensus was that whether the new bridge swung or lifted it was essential that it permitted access for boats to the basin for economic regeneration and leisure as well as to ensure that scouring of the creek could be resumed in order to maintain its shape. A new bridge must have wider footpaths to allow safe pedestrian passage and KCC must recognise that without an improved bridge the town would be effectively split in two with substantial negative social and economic impacts. It was recognised that Peel Ports, as well as KCC, have responsibility for the bridge, but that it was KCC who had made the promise to build a new opening bridge. Consequently, it is towards and through KCC that we must focus our action.

Four possible lines of action were identified and discussed:

1.       Formal legal objection to KCC/Peel Ports for loss of navigation rights to the Creek Basin. There might be two strands to the objection: leisure and potential commercial craft as well as loss of economic regeneration for the Creek Trust due to the isolation of the Purifier Building from floating boats. Faversham Creek Trust to lead 

2.       Explore whether the promise of a swing bridge in return for £125,000 amounts in law to breach of contract. Bridge Steering Group members to provide the evidence on how the KCC commitment to build the opening bridge was made.

3.       Explore the possibility of a complaint of maladministration to the Local Government Ombudsman. Possible Freedom of Information request  

4.       It was seen as important to get a large attendance at the St Mary of Charity meeting on 29th  November to impress on the leader of KCC, Paul Carter, the strength of feeling and determination in the town. Particular effort should be made to engage those living on the Brents side of the Creek. 

Helen Whateley has also commented 9th October

Regarding Faversham Creek Bridge: Paul Carter

KENT COUNTY COUNCIL  Thursday 18 October 2018
Question by Antony Hook  to Paul Carter, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Health Reform

REGARDING FAVERSHAM CREEK BRIDGE
A video recording can be viewed on the KCC Webcast system: https://kent.publici.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/374602
Question by Mr Hook

In 2015 Faversham was promised by Kent County Council that if the community raised £125,000, which was quickly done, the Swing Bridge would be rebuilt so that boats could once again pass, creating jobs and enriching our maritime culture. Would the Leader agree that almost four years on it is time for the promise to be fulfilled and a start date for work set?
Answer by Mr Carter
The ambition to restore the Faversham Swing Bridge, lockgates and dredge the basin, goes back many years and to the best of my knowledge is as follows:
The ambition for restoration gained momentum some five years ago, through the activity of several community groups who had the vision and saw the potential of restoring the basin to its former glory. This would allow boat owners to moor in the basin, enjoy the town and in addition, be a valuable tourist attraction. The community formed a steering group incorporating the already established Faversham Creek Trust.
Kent County Council very much wanted to support The Faversham Creek Trust and the Town Council in their vision.

David Brazier, the then Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste agreed to Mark Dance’s request (Cabinet Member for Economic Development) for Capital
funding. KCC set a Capital budget allocation of £450,000 which was subsequently increased to £510,000.
The Faversham Creek Trust raised £125,000.
Swale Borough Council pledged £200,000.
Faversham Town Council pledged £170,000.
In 2015, we were advised that the estimate for the work was circa £1.2million and all looked very promising as the budget broadly matched the estimate.

In 2016/17, design and procurement took place, culminating in final tenders being in the order of £2.6 million for the bridge restoration plus an additional £200,000 to repair the lock gates.

This was an exceedingly disappointing outcome and we needed to reflect on how we could solve the gap funding.

It was at my instigation, working alongside officers in Economic Development, that we researched the obligations placed upon the harbour authority, Peel Ports. We sought a QC’s opinion, which indicated that Peel Ports have obligations to restore the bridge to enable it to open and function as a Swing Bridge, including the lock gates.

Peel Ports have been advised of the legal opinion, and we are awaiting their full response. Various reminders have been sent, which culminated in the 14 October 2018 with a response and I quote from the letter from Peel Ports Group: “I can assure you that we are actively working on the matter, but that Peel Ports will not be forced into a formal response until a thorough and robust legal review has been undertaken”.

Supplementary question (summary)
Mr Hook asked why the estimate had been so badly wrong and why legal advice was not sought at the outset and whether, if Mr Carter would not set a date for work to start, he could specify a date when a date for work to start could be set.
Answer to supplementary question (summary)
Mr Carter said the error in the estimate was because a company in Faversham had said they would do it for the lower price then changed their minds. He did not know why legal advice was not sought earlier. It is down to Peel Ports when dates will be set.

All of the above can be watched in full online at the KCC website. https://kent.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/374602

Gunpowder & Ordnance Wharf

Faversham has a wealth of Gunpowder Heritage with many structures around the town as a reminder of the importance of gunpowder in our history not least Stonebridge Pond, and three museums: the Chart Gunpowder Mill, the Gunpowder Room in the Fleur, the Marsh Works, and the Oare Gunpowder Works.  

More than 30 people attended, many members and residents plus Canterbury Christ Church University, Faversham Creek Trust, Faversham Historians, FSARG, Faversham Town Council,  Lees Court Estate, Medway & Swale Boating Association,  Oare Gunpowder Works, Swale Borough Council (Economy and Community Services) University of Kent, SWAT Archaeology.

John Owen spoke on Faversham and the Defence of the Realm pointing out that Faversham is closer to the French coast than to Trafalgar Square and that Faversham had contributed men and materials to many wars. The East Kent Impress Officer Admiral Keeler lived in the town and men from Faversham were pressed for naval service as well as to provide skilled workers to the Naval dockyards and the line of ordnance: Sheerness, Chatham, Deptford and Woolwich.

The early years of  Faversham gunpowder production are not well documented, there are C16th references but nothing in the early C17th. Daniel Judd began production in 1655. In 1667 UK production of gunpowder amounted to 36,000 barrels of which 2,500 (7%)  were produced in Faversham.  Gunpowder was important to the prosperity of the town but demand, production and employment fluctuated wildly depending on to what extent it was required for conflict. However, in the early C19th gunpowder provided perhaps 20% of male employment in Faversham. By the 1820’s it employed only 20 men.

The Origins of Ordnance Wharf – post-Napoleonic

Pat Reid then talked about the archaeology of  Ordnance Wharf, situated between two outlet channels from the former Gunpowder works that correspond to the two main mills, Lower Mills to the east and Bennett Mills to the west. This small tongue of land was formed by the scour of these two channels either side, stirring up silt, and the slack water between the two channels causing the deposition of this silt. Ordnance Wharf is, in short, a mud bank. In Jacob’s 1774 map of Faversham, it is a simple, roughly triangular spit. The 1822 map shows the natural form of a mud bank. By 1842, however, according to the well-surveyed tithe map of 1842, it has a regular squared off shape implying the building of a revetment, and it is named Island Wharf, which implies usage by vessels.  The 1867 map shows this artificial form very clearly.  The revetting is brick, and a great deal of hardcore must have been deposited inside the brick walls to create a flat and firm surface.

Pat covered the site’s more recent history:  The building, nowadays known as the Purifier, was built to manage the purification process but the actual Guiseley purifiers, which produced toxic waste material (cyanide), were on Ordnance Wharf, as it had become known. Gas production ceased in 1957 and the purifiers were removed, although the site continued to be used for storage and repairs until 1992. Ordnance Wharf was left as a derelict and potentially toxic site.

  • It is clear that Ordnance Wharf came into existence as a wharf between 1822 and 1842. Whilst Faversham doubtless provided some gunpowder for the Napoleonic Wars it was not shipped from Ordnance Wharf.
  • Ordnance Wharf is seriously contaminated land and recent digging ceased for health and safety reasons.
  • Any building on the site would require piling which might damage the revetting brick.
  • It was agreed that the Faversham Society would convene a meeting of those with an interest in Gunpowder Heritage in the town to discuss how the story could be better communicated to residents and visitors.
  • It was further agreed that along with the Faversham Historians the Society’s History Group would consider the feasibility of organising a one or two day “academic conference with visits” on Gunpowder in the town in 2020.

The Society has a number of papers published on Faversham and gunpowder.

TS Hazard The Town Warehouse

Monday 1st October Faversham Society Members and Guests Meeting
Is there potential for a new maritime museum in TS Hazard, the C15th Town Warehouse?  A heritage centre or museum featuring Faversham’s maritime history, trade, the Graveney Boat, and the Cinque Ports.

More than 40 people attended, many members and residents plus Canterbury Christ Church University, Faversham Creek Trust, Faversham Historians, Faversham Sea Cadets, FSARG, Faversham Town Council, Kent Sail Association, Lees Court Estate, Medway & Swale Boating Association, National Maritime Museum, Swale Borough Council (Conservation & Economy and Community Services) University of Kent, SWAT Archaeology.

Faversham – the gift of the sea. John Owen spoke on the history Faversham and reminded us of the importance of the sea and Faversham Creek to the development of Faversham and its prosperity. The town is located where it is, north of the main road, because of the Creek and the trade with London and the continent associated with it. The development of the town and its importance in the medieval period through until the end of the C18th was based on its trading by sea.

Town Quay where TS Hazard stands existed by 1420 and it had two cranes. The Town Warehouse, now TS Hazard, dates to 1475. The first bridge over the creek was built in 1790, it became a carriage bridge in the 1840s. John Owen estimates that one-third of Faversham’s men were employed on the creek or their employment was reliant on it. He also pointed out that the creek provided year-round employment and that it was fundamental to wealth an importance of the town until the C20th.

By 1580 Faversham had sixteen hoys, six of which sailed regularly to London. Whilst there were relatively few prosecutions for smuggling a large volume of seized smuggled goods were auctioned in the town.
The coming of the railway in 1858 resulted in the slow decline of the importance of the creek,  although as recently as the late 1970’s fuel, timber and agricultural goods (fertiliser and grain) were being transported on it. As late as 1900 there were 5000 feet of quayside, nearly a mile of quays.

  • The Graveney Boat is in the custody of the National Maritime Museum and there is a long-standing ambition to have it on display in Faversham. If the Town Warehouse was to be used to celebrate Faversham’s maritime heritage – trade, gunpowder, oysters, bricks – and its Cinque Ports status then the Graveney Boat might be considered for inclusion.
  • Faversham should engage with efforts by the Medway & Swale Boating Association to establish the importance of the Medway and Swale as a leading centre of British, European and World Heritage. More   In the 1980’s Maritime Kent was recognised and promoted  as a major part of Kent’s tourism offer.
  • The Registrar of the Cinque Ports was to have attended but was incapacitated.  He is interested in the proposal for a new museum/heritage centre and confirms that the Confederation of the Cinque Ports has been generally supportive of proposals to bring the Ports’ history to a wider audience. The Confederation has yet to take a view and it is extremely unlikely that the Confederation would be able to offer any financial contribution.
  • Swale’s Conservation Officer outlined the steps being taken to ascertain the condition of the building, A survey by  Anthony Swaine Architecture Ltd was completed in March. They concluded that

    After 60 years, the building is, again, in need of significant repair with areas of decay particularly in the sole plates and at the river end where the wall framing is distorting as a result of decay in the cill.
    The roof coverings in particular have reached the point where major overhaul is required since the roof was not retiled as part of the 1960s refurbishment and may well not have been replaced for a considerable time before that.

    The next stage is for Canterbury Archaeological Trust (Rupert Austin) to carry out an archaeological survey – this is to commence imminently.

  • Those present were assured by Swale’s Economy and Community Services representative that no decision has been made about “repurposing” TS Hazard and that if it’s repurposing was to be considered that would only be after completion of a careful consideration of the state of the building and the work required to ensure its conservation. We were assured that any change of purpose for the building would be subject to full public consultation and alternative accommodation for the Sea Cadets would need to be secured.
  • There have been discussions about research opportunities in Faversham between researchers at the National Maritime Museum and Greenwich University and academics from both the University of Kent and Christchurch University have expressed interest. Whilst much work has been done by Faversham Historians and other academics there is still much to be done. The Faversham Society is keen to work with everyone with an interest in the history of Faversham and the Faversham Hundred to advance our knowledge of the past and to communicate it. The National Maritime Museum holds the records of James Pollock Sons & Co Ltd and they are keen to see them researched.
  • Flooding and a viable income stream to support any new use for the Town Warehouse would be significant challenges as well as funding the restoration of the building.

Public Meeting with the Duchy, Monday 15th October at 19:30

The Faversham Society and St Mary of Charity Church are keen that the people of Faversham have an opportunity to hear about plans for the future of our town from the developers and that there can be open public discussions about what is best for Faversham.

The open public meeting is in St Mary of Charity Church from 19:30 on Monday 15th October. The meeting will be co-chaired by
Rev Simon Rowlands and Dr Harold Goodwin

Representatives from the Duchy of Cornwall and Prince’s Foundation will be attending to provide an update following community and stakeholder workshops held across the Spring of 2018.

Swale Borough Council is currently undertaking a review of its Local Plan and has invited landowners and developers to submit proposals for New Garden Communities. As a local landowner, the Duchy of Cornwall is responding to this, putting forward a site on land south of Faversham which might be appropriate for future development.

 The Enquiry by Design workshops were established to work with the local community in Faversham and surrounding areas, to better understand the town, gain local knowledge and explore opportunities for the site. The Duchy will present the findings from the workshops and provide updates on the Housing Manual and next steps, within the Local Plan Process. During the meeting, representatives from the Duchy and Prince’s Foundation are keen to listen to your thoughts and answer questions you may have.

The Society is willing to organise similar meetings for all developers. Our interest is in encouraging informed engagement in the planning process as Faversham grows and in creating heritage for the future.

+++++++++++++++

Back in August the Duchy of Cornwall sent out this communication.

“As you know, Swale Borough Council is currently undertaking a review of its Local Plan and has invited landowners and developers to submit proposals for New Garden Communities.

As a local landowner, the Duchy of Cornwall is responding to this, putting forward a site on land south of Faversham which might be appropriate for future development. In the spring of this year, we held a number of Enquiry by Design (EbD) workshops and a drop-in exhibition, to work with the community to better understand Faversham and how the site should be developed, should it be allocated by Swale Borough Council in the Local Plan.

If you attended and participated in these events, we would like to sincerely thank you – the community’s input, insight and ideas have been invaluable.

A great deal of information was gathered throughout the EbD. The following main themes emerged early on and were reinforced throughout the engagement process. These provide a top-line summary and do not include every point raised, but rather ‘broad brush’ categories.

  • The importance of heritage – local people are proud of Faversham’s history and like that it’s reflected in the good mixture of architectural styles from different eras. Whilst participants would like any new development to reflect Faversham’s history and character, they were (on whole) more in favour of nods to existing architectural style, rather than replicating it.
  • Traffic congestion – concerns over traffic, in particular the A2 and Brenley Corner, resonated with people across Faversham who felt that it negatively impacted their lives, causing delays, reducing air quality and actually causing a safety hazard. There was a concern that any new development could make this worse, but also an optimism that a new development could create measures for improvement.
  • Affordable housing – it was almost universally agreed by participants that housing in Faversham has become unaffordable for local people. The concept of including genuinely affordable private and social housing was welcomed with caution, as long as the housing was available to local people.
  • Jobs and employment – participants felt that generally it is currently difficult to both live and work in Faversham. It was suggested new types of employment space would be welcomed to make Faversham more self-sustaining, environmentally friendly and less of a commuter town.
  • Countryside – the town’s relationship with the countryside was considered very important, both because of its agricultural roots and the beauty of AONB just to the south, it framed a key part of people’s identity. Although there was some concern about the potential loss of farmland, there was also support for any improvements that a potential new development could make to the ecology of the site, and connections into wider countryside to encourage people’s use and enjoyment of it.
  • Facilities and services – ensuring that any development supports and enhances services, rather than drains them was very important to the community. Strategically choosing types and locations of commercial uses was highlighted so not to impact the town centre. It was also generally felt that any new development should include supporting infrastructure – schools and doctors being particular examples.
  • Community spirit – there is a strong sense of community spirit in Faversham, with an active community involved in multiple social and sports clubs and activities. Any additional support to nurture this, through new development, was warmly welcomed.

The Duchy of Cornwall has now made its submission to Swale Borough Council in response to their New Garden Communities Prospectus. This will be reviewed by officers and councillors, before being made available to the public in the coming months. We will also ensure that we keep the community updated throughout the process, wherever possible.

A final output, currently being prepared by the Prince’s Foundation, is the Faversham Housing Manual, which will be based on the activities undertaken and feedback given at the EbD workshops. The document will set out simple but specific guiding principles of architecture and urban design for new development, using both illustrations and written descriptions. The Manual achieves this by setting out principles of good placemaking as well as a set of housing, public realm (streets and spaces), and block layout types that reflect Faversham’s individual character and the particular preferences of the community towards each of these.

Once the Housing Manual is complete, we will ensure it is made publicly available via our website, and we are happy to issue hard copies upon request. We will be in touch again shortly.”

You can find details of the Enquiry by Design work that the Duchy has been doing here http://www.favershamenquirybydesign.co.uk/

Published August 10th 2018

Faversham’s Marine Heritage: Trade and Gunpowder

Faversham Society Heritage Meetings  

October 1st TS Hazard – the C15th Town Warehouse
October 2nd Ordnance Wharf and Gunpowder

Please come along and participate in these roundtable meetings to discuss how best to make the most of this heritage for the future. We want to hear your ideas.

On the 1st and 2nd of October have two important members and guests meetings, both starting in the Fleur at 19:30. At each meeting, John Owen will set the historical context and then others will contribute on the conservation aspects and there will be an open discussion about how best the Society can engage to ensure that this heritage survives for our children, and their children,  and how we can celebrate and enhance that heritage now.

Monday 1st October: Is there potential for a new maritime museum in TS Hazard, the C15th Town Warehouse?  A heritage centre or museum featuring Faversham’s maritime history, trade, the Graveney Boat and the Cinque Ports.

Tuesday 2nd October: the importance of Ordnance Wharf, the creek basin and the Gunpowder heritage of Faversham. What more can we do to celebrate and conserve the heritage and to raise awareness of Ordnance Wharf?

These are unticketed events.

The Fleur Hall is behind the Fleur in Preston Street. From Preston Street go down Gatefield Lane and left into a small car park just before the  Faversham Club. The Fleur Hall is upstairs across the  car park

 

 

Where is our Bridge?

The Board of the Faversham Society has met with the Where’s our Bridge? campaign and decided to work with them to ask the question. In 2015 the people of Faversham raised £125,000 to restore our swing bridge.

There is a members’and guests meeting about the Swing Bridge in the Fleur Hall at 19:30 on Monday, October 22nd. This is an unticketed event.

The Where’s our Bridge? campaign is active on Facebook

They can be emailed: wheresourbridge@gmail.com

SPEED LIMITS AND EXHAUST POLLUTION

It is often said that a high-speed limit allows fast-moving vehicles to stir up the air and disperse exhaust pollution.  This doesn’t work in urban areas.  Wherever roads are congested, traffic movement is continually interrupted by vehicles turning in and out of side roads, stopping at pedestrian crossings, or parking at the side of the road.  If they can, drivers will move quickly from one obstruction to the next, and stop abruptly when forced to do so.  Each stop is followed by a period of acceleration, which injects a burst of fuel into the engine that results in additional pollution.

It’s all about smoothing the traffic flow.  If the speed limit is lowered to 20 mph, drivers don’t need to accelerate as much after each blockage to restore their original cruising speed, so the fuel emissions are reduced.  In addition, when moving at 20 mph, a driver can more easily anticipate blockages and slow down in advance so the deceleration-acceleration cycle is less pronounced and wastes less fuel.  This was confirmed many years ago by research in Germany that showed that when the speed limit in a built-up area was reduced from 50kmh (31mph) to 30kmh (19mph), drivers saved fuel and emissions fell (Newman and Kenworthy 1992, 39 –40).

By contrast, traffic calming measures can increase pollution.  For example, road humps force drivers to slow down to a very low speed.  Afterwards, they accelerate again, and in the process, generate emissions that could have been avoided if they had continued at a more modest but steady speed.  So it’s important to distinguish between physical measures on the one hand (which don’t help in terms of exhaust emissions) and 20 mph speed limits (which do).

For these reasons, in its policy document NG70, the UK National Institute for Public Health and Care Excellence NICE recommends 20 mph limits to reduce speeds in urban areas where average speeds are already low (below around 24 mph).

References

NEWMAN, P AND KENWORTHY, J, with ROBINSON, L (1992) Winning back the cities.  Pluto Press.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH AND CARE EXCELLENCE (NICE) (2017) Air pollution: outdoor air quality and health. NICE guideline NG70. Available for downloading  from https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng70

Chris Wright on behalf of the Faversham Society

04 August 2018

There is additional information online from other organizations

 20’s Plenty National

 Medical

Home Office

Rod King (20’s Plenty Chair and founder) the Independent Daily Edition, citing research by NGO Global Action Plan.

Affordable Housing in the new NPPF

The government has published a new National Planning Policy Framework.

The Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE)  has published research on affordable housing:

60,000 houses being planned for land that will be released from the Green Belt, while the percentage of ‘affordable’ homes built continues to fall

The Green Belt remains under severe pressure, despite government commitments to its protection, according to a new report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

CPRE’s annual State of the Green Belt report [1] highlights that there are currently 460,000 homes being planned to be built on land that will soon be released from the Green Belt [2]. Moving Green Belt boundaries when reviewing local plans makes it easier for local authorities to release land for housing, but is only supposed to take place under ‘exceptional circumstances’. This strategic shrinking of the Green Belt, as a way of getting around its protected status, is as harmful as building on the Green Belt itself.

The report also demonstrates that building on the Green Belt is not solving the affordable housing crisis, and will not do so. Last year 72% of homes built on greenfield land within the Green Belt were unaffordable by the government’s definition [3].

Of the 460,000 homes that are planned to be built on land that will be released from the Green Belt, the percentage of unaffordable homes will increase to 78%.

CPRE warns that this release of land looks set to continue, as one-third of local authorities with Green Belt land will find themselves with an increase in housing targets, due to a new method for calculating housing demand. The London (Metropolitan) Green Belt will be the biggest casualty [4].

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++