The Society has sent the following letter to the Faversham News in response to comments about Faversham Town Council’s plans for 12 Market Place that were made by Mark Gardner in his column, Gardner Digs, on 7 April:
“The Faversham Society would like to state clearly that at present it neither supports nor opposes the Town Council’s proposed purchase of 12 Market Place.
“The Society has expressed support in principle for a museum or exhibition of the town’s remarkable collection of charters, and we made no objection on planning grounds to the application for change of use of the building. This is the full extent of our involvement. The council discussed its plans with us only informally and in outline, and the Society has not entered into any kind of partnership arrangement.
“Although the Faversham Society is referred to several times in the council’s recently published business plan, the Board of Trustees was not consulted on the preparation of this document and has not yet had an opportunity to consider it.”
Planning application:- 16/501352/full
re Change of use to exhibition space with ancillary retail use on the ground floor and Bl office use on the first floor
12 Market Place Faversham Kent ME13 7AE
The Faversham Society wishes to comment as follows:-
The trustees of the Faversham Society, the owners of 10-13 Preston Street, have been consulted, and initially expressed support for the scheme of the acquisition of exhibition space by the Town Council in principle, without access to any notice of the proposed change of use of 12 Market Place or subsequent planning application, at that stage. A majority of trustees voting on receipt of the notification of application have no objection to the proposed change of use of 12 Market Place, from the information currently provided, but would support several others who have expressed their opinion that the period for consultation has not been long enough and that they would need further information during the period of public consultation and from Swale Borough Council to be satisfied that all the implications of the proposal have been fully presented to all interested parties.
The Board supports the creation of additional museums in the town and the restoration of buildings of historic interested. We have not yet considered the planning nor the financial aspects of the current proposal and have neither endorsed nor objected to the current proposals.
At its meeting on 23rd February, the Board was able to consider the news that the Faversham Town Council is planning to purchase 12 Market Place to house our town’s remarkable collection of medieval charters, including the Magna Carta.
The Society welcomes the Faversham Town Council’s initiative which will create a permanent exhibition space for the charters and provide an appropriate sustainable use for 12 Market Street following restoration and refurbishment; it is an important part of our heritage. The Society supports in principle the creation of another museum focused on our remarkable collection of charters and the medieval period. This will complement the Roman collection in the Maison Dieu at Ospringe and the more modern collection in the Fleur.
We hope that the museums in Faversham will be able to evolve a joint ticketing system which will extend the length of stay in the town and attract more day visitors and tourists.
The Board did not have sufficient information to discuss either the planning or financial implications and we have therefore formed no opinion on these aspects.