Comments on KCC/SW/0247/2017
Redevelopment of an existing waste management facility and inclusion of additional land into waste management use.
It is noted that this proposal seeks to increase the intensity of the existing waste transfer facility which was established in 1992 on the Faversham side of Oare Creek. This is in connection with the intended closure of an existing waste transfer station at Aylesham and consolidation onto a single site. The proposal involves the replacement of the existing buildings with taller and more extensive buildings, additional equipment including a crusher, conveyor, metal containers and stacked materials, extended storage area, night watchmen, weighbridges and more parking together with extended hours and a doubling of the number of lorries servicing the site. The planning application is supported by site plans, elevations of the buildings and equipment individually but not in context and reports on traffic generation, noise, a visual appraisal and studies on wintering birds and on the impact on the adjacent RAMSAR site.
The noise appraisal seeks to demonstrate that there is no harmful or even significant increase in noise levels emanating from the site as a result of the new buildings and greater area over which waste is treated. This is because some of the noisy machinery is enclosed in buildings and the site would be enclosed to the south by noise absorbent bunds. However, the noisiest item, the crusher, is at the unenclosed area of the site and is expected to run for periods of two weeks out of every six weeks. The site is already relatively close to residential areas in Oare to the south of Pheasant Barn which is identified as the nearest residential property and the measuring point for noise. The new residential development at Oare Lakes starts at 250m from the site which is substantially closer than the houses in Oare. This is also used as a measuring point for noise impact. At present the hours of operation are 0700-1800 on Mondays to Fridays and from 0700-1300 on Saturdays. This represents a 13-hour day on weekdays. The proposal includes the prospect, with the approval of KCC, of working on Sundays after Bank Holidays, Bank Holidays and Boxing Day working. These are all days when residents and potential residents would normally expect the site to be quiet and as such, this element of the proposal represents a substantial intrusion into residential amenity and the relative quiet of the area for walkers and other users. Further, it is proposed that the hours of operation for the lorries would be extended to run from 0500-2000 daily and 0500-1500 on Saturdays and to include Bank Holidays. These extra hours and days are also periods when it is usually expected to be much quieter than business hours and would intrude on the amenity of the area both for residents and outdoor users.
The existing facility with the exception of some partly used buildings is relatively low in height. It has been used since 1992 for waste transfer and previously there were other industrial uses around Oare Creek including loading cargoes and the explosives industry. The areas around Oare and Ham Marshes have been used for gravel working but are expected to be restored and new housing added on the Oare Lakes site. The footpaths, marshes and lagoons form part of a countryside buffer zone between Oare and Faversham. Close by and directly adjacent to the roadway serving East Kent Recycling are areas protected for wildlife comprising the SPA which is also a RAMSAR site. The erection of three large-footprint buildings at 20, 25 and 30m long with two over 7.5m high and one at 12m high represent a much more visible and extensive built development which would be more prominent in views from Oare village including from the footpaths near the playing field, from Church Road across the creek, from Ham Marshes and across Oare Creek on the Saxon Shore Way as well as from the footpath across the lagoons adjacent to the site. The footpath adjacent to the site which runs along the service road is already at least a moderately sensitive use but would become a highly sensitive use when it becomes part of the England Coast Path. It is considered that for these reasons, the erection of more extensive and high buildings on this site would be an unwelcome development and would contravene the aims of the Swale Landscape Character and Biodiversity Appraisal.
Dust and other air pollution issues
In addition to the dust and diesel particulates associated with the increased traffic flows there are likely to be dust and other air pollution issues arising from the increased scale of operations. The marsh is a windy area and dust, and other airborne pollutants are likely to spread over a considerable distance on the wind. The prevailing winds are onshore and will carry airborne pollution to residential areas. An air quality monitoring system should be put in place to ensure that there is objective evidence on the emissions.
Conflict between traffic and the footpath
It is proposed to increase the number of vehicles from the present 80 per day (40 in and 40 out) to 160 per day (80 in and 80 out) In peak hours this would amount to 16 vehicles per hour. The hours would be extended in the mornings to 0500 from 0700 but also in the evening from 1800 to 2000 and from 1300-1500 on Saturday afternoons. In addition, Bank Holiday working including potentially on Boxing Day and some Sunday afternoons would be introduced. This means that not only would there be more vehicles at all the times the plant has been working up to now, but the road will be used for much more of the time when the public would want to use it as a footpath. The Traffic Appraisal refers to employees being able to access the works on foot or by cycle although there is no pavement but takes no account of the use of this roadway as a public footpath. Throughout the documents it is assumed that the footpath runs on another parallel line and not on the road but the map extract that they provide shows that this line runs through the water of the lagoon. The roadway is enclosed on the lagoon side by barbed wire fencing with very narrow grass strips in places. There are only three lorry passing places and these are more likely to be needed by passing lorries if there are 16 per hour. The creekside is open with no fencing and a drop onto either mud or water depending on the state of the tide with only approximately 450mm of bank which is sometimes muddy in winter. This means that a substantial increase in vehicles would make a walk along the footpath unpleasant and potentially dangerous. Most vehicles would be skip lorries or rigid vehicles and these tend to have come from sites elsewhere so throw up dust. The trees along this road are already covered in dust and water sprayers also pass up and down to suppress dust on the road but make passage less pleasant for walkers. It is considered that the increase in the intensity of the waste transfer use on the site is not compatible with use of the roadway as a nationally designated public footpath such as the England Coast Path and this is the only route from the Oare Stray stretch of the footpath to the head of Oare Creek.
While the proposal would comply with KCC policies CSW2 (enhances the county’s ability to process waste) and CSW16 (is an extension of an existing waste transfer site) of the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan, with regard to policy CSW8, any extra vehicles have to pass through a road which is in an Air Quality Monitoring Area, so the site would not be particularly well-located with regard to sourcing and sending out materials. The advantages of extending the site to take in the activities from Aylesham are outweighed by environmental costs which demonstrate why this would not be a suitable site to extend.
The Society is concerned that this development reverses the whole thrust of planning policy for this area over the last twenty years which has been toward conservation and leisure use. This sets a dangerous precedent for industrial development whilst creating very few new jobs and jeopardising residential quality. We are concerned that there is already some evidence that vehicle movement numbers have been exceeded and obviously all vehicle movements must affect either Ospringe or Teynham and the village of Oare.
People, Plaice and Chips: Fisheries and sense of place,The management of fisheries tends to focus on economic and biological factors with cultural issues often neglected.
Dr Tim Acott FRGS, Director of the Greenwich Maritime Centre, puts forward the idea that sense of place can be used to make visible a range of social and cultural values that emerge from the process of marine fishing.
He will give a talk, People, Plaice and Chips: Fisheries and sense of place, at the Fleur hall at 7.30pm on Monday, 20 November.
“Sense of place” is an underused concept in resource management in general and within fisheries management in particular but it has potential to contribute to the evaluation of cultural services in a way that is accessible to a broader range of stakeholders, including policymakers and
those involved in developing sustainable communities.
Tickets are £5, or £3 for Faversham Society members
Tim Acott is a Reader in Human Geography at the University of Greenwich. He is Director of the Greenwich Maritime Centre and is currently the Chair of the Coastal and Marine Research Group at the Royal Geographic Society. Over the last 8 years he has worked extensively on understanding the social and cultural importance of fisheries through sense of place and cultural ecosystem services. He has co-edited two books, ‘Social Issues in Sustainable Fisheries Management’ (2014) and ‘Social wellbeing and the values of small-scale fisheries’ (2017) and has published numerous articles. His most recent research is leading a project exploring the socio-cultural values of wetlands.
Dr Tim Acott graduated with a BSc Hons in Environmental Science from the University of Plymouth in 1989. He subsequently completed a PhD at the University of Stirling and started to lecture at the University of Greenwich in 1993. His academic interests revolve around a social science perspective on environment and sustainability issues. To explore this subject area he crosses a number of subject boundaries including: environmental ethics, sustainable development, landscape, sense of place, environmental sociology, social and cultural dimensions of marine fisheries, GIS, actor network theory, hybrid geography, wildness, sustainability, allotments as hybrid spaces, and qualitative research methods. In addition to his academic portfolio Dr Acott also actively explores different environments through painting and photography.
This event is in the Fleur Hall and is jointly organised with the Faversham Creek Trust. October 2nd 19:30
Tickets £5, for members of the Faversham Society and the Faversham Creek Trust there is a discounted price £3. Tickets available from the Fleur in Preston Street.
Life beyond yellow lines
The science of smart towns and cities
Tim Stonor is an architect and urban planner who advises public, private and community organisations worldwide. In the course of his career, he has pioneered the development and application of “predictive modelling” – using computer algorithms to forecast the impacts of design proposals on human behaviour patterns. His projects include the redesign of Trafalgar Square and the creation of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Tim is Managing Director of the strategic consulting firm Space Syntax Limited, which he established at University College London in 1996. He is a Trustee of the Design Council, a Visiting Professor at University College London, a director of The Academy of Urbanism, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a winner of the prestigious Harvard Loeb Fellowship.
Closer to home, Tim is a trustee of the Faversham Society, a member of the Town Council’s Public Realm Group and a member of the Friends of the Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond. He is closely involved in the campaign for a 20mph limit across the town. In recent years he led a widely-supported campaign against the painting of yellow lines in the town centre. He is currently opposing the further painting of double yellow lines around the Guildhall, proposing instead a design-led scheme that includes planters and seats.
Using Tourism to Make Better Places to Live in
The aspiration of Responsible Tourism is to use tourism rather than to be used by it. Tourism can bring economic benefits, trade and jobs – there is little doubt that Faversham would not have such a rich variety of quality food and drink if we did not a attract tourists and day visitors. Overtourism is emerging as an issue in more and more destinations – what can we learn from problems elsewhere to ensure that in Faversham we maximise the positives and minimise the negatives.
Harold Goodwin has theoretically retired but he is now an Emeritus Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University where he leads on Responsible Tourism in the Institute of Place Management. He is managing director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership which organises a free Responsible Tourism programme at their trade shows in Dubai, Cape Town, Sao Paulo in November – ~ 2,000 people attend at of sessions over three days at WTM London in November. He chairs the family of global and regional Responsible Tourism Awards and an annual series of conferences on Responsible Tourism in Destinations in September this year in Iceland and October in Dublin.
Harold Goodwin has lived in Faversham for forty years, refusing to move for work he was a Professor in Leeds and Manchester but he did not relocate. He is Chair of the Faversham Society and of the Faversham Sea Cadets and a founder organiser of the Faversham Food Festival. He represents the Society on Visit Faversham and Historic Swale. He is President of the Timothy Taylor Appreciation Society based in Faversham and one of the organisers of Taste Faversham. www.haroldgoodwin.info
Arthur used always to repair to the Bear after his classes, for the Faversham Society lectures we plan to follow in his footsteps. We’ll repair to the Wine Vaults opposite.
Richard Oldfield, President of the Faversham Society, receiving a donation of £2,000 from Faversham Town Council Town Clerk Louise Bareham and thanked the Town Council for it on behalf of the Society.
The Arthur Percival Memorial Fund was formally launched on Saturday. The fund is to enable us to ensure the conservation and preservation of Arthur’s archive and his remarkable collection of images of Faversham’s built heritage and of the life and times of Faversham’s residents and visitors. It is a remarkable collection of images – slides, prints, negatives, postcards and old glass slides. They need to be properly conserved and catalogued so that they are available and conserved for the future. The Society is determined to take good care of this valuable bequest.
The Fund will enable us to recreate online Arthur’s lecture series with his original slides and based on his notes and presented by 20 different Faversham voices. Arthur’s annual lecture series introduced so many Faversham residents, newcomers and those born here, to the history of the town. These will be freely available for this and future generations on the internet and a fitting tribute to Arthur’s contribution to Faversham.
Photos from Chris Wootton. Brian Wintle-Smith and Harold Goodwin
Chairman’s introduction to the Society’s Annual Report May 24th, 2017
First, thank you all for coming here this evening for the AGM, this is an important event in the Society’s year. We are here to look back on 2016, to receive and consider the Society’s accounts and our Annual Report; and to elect some new Trustees and the officers. I thought that it would be appropriate briefly to reflect on the last year and on recent developments. My review of the year is published as part of the Annual Report so I’ll be brief because we’d like to complete the business expeditiously – we have Will Palin at 8 o’clock who is speaking on Greenwich, the Battle of the Medway and the Sheerness Dockyard Church: an Historic Journey through Maritime Heritage to Faversham.
Our President Richard Oldfield, who sadly can’t be with us this evening, has commented on this year’s annual report. I quote his words: the “report is excellent – bulging with information and achievement. Many congratulations to you and the trustees and officers, all who take part in the work of the Society.” Many volunteers have contributed to the report. A new member and volunteer, Norma Beechey, has brought a fresh eye to the Annual Report and put it together for us. Norma has also taken on the task of minuting the Board meetings. Responsibility for the content of the Annual Report rests with the Board and those who wrote the various sections of it. There have been some omissions and on behalf of the Board, I apologise for that. There will be opportunity shortly to comment on the Society’s report and to ask any questions.
The Society employs no staff, we can only do what our volunteers are able and willing to do. Over the last few years, there have been fewer talks and social events – I would like to see more of both, but to deliver talks and events we need volunteers to organise them. What the Society does reflects the interests and enthusiasms of its active volunteers. The maintenance of the Society’s buildings and the activities which take place in them absorbs a great deal of voluntary effort. I’d like to thank the Board and the scores of volunteers for their work and to thank in particular Jan West and Brian Wintle-Smith who so often pick up the pieces with good humour.
Understandably our volunteers are committed to the team they work with, and the pressure on our volunteers’ time gets greater every year. We have many opportunities for volunteers, there are many more valuable things we could achieve if we had more volunteers interested in helping and giving up some of their time – your time – to make things happen.
There is more that could be done on listed buildings, organising events and visits, and sitting on the planning and environment committees. We would like to undertake some co-ordinated interpretation of the water course from the Westbrook to the Swale. We had a very successful meeting with local groups in the Fleur Hall about this, but we don’t have a volunteer to take it on. We need someone to work with the Bookshop to sell second-hand books online and we need additional volunteers to work with the Open House and Open Gardens teams.
The Trustees and all our Board members are volunteers too, willing to take collective responsibility for the Society – we need a range of skills on the Board to oversee the work of the Society, the built environment is particularly important to the town and to our Open Houses, Open Gardens and Town Walks work. At the beginning of the year Jonathan Carey kindly accepted co-option to the Board to strengthen our capability on historic buildings but unfortunately, he can’t be with us this evening as he has been in New Zealand for a few weeks.
The Society has been active in pursuit of its objects for 55 years: promoting high standards of planning and architecture, educating the public about the history, architecture, geography and natural history of the area and seeking to secure the preservation, protection and improvement of features of historic or public interest in Faversham and its rural hinterland. During those 55 years, the balance of our activities has reflected the interests of those active in the Society – in recent years we have been unable to sustain a regular talks programme and we have not had the capacity to organise any day trips or social events. I for one regret this but, as I have already said, we can only do what our volunteers are willing and able to do – our activities reflect the interests and enthusiasms of our volunteers. Our Open Gardens and Open House programmes are great examples of what our volunteers can achieve and we thank them for it.
We are celebrating the 55th anniversary of the Society’s founding in 1962 with a Tea Party on 18 June here in the Alexander Centre, we know it’s Father’s Day bring him along! We hope that you will join us to celebrate the work of the Society over the last 55 years, to enjoy a festive afternoon tea with our volunteers and members and to launch, with our President Richard Oldfield, the Arthur Percival Memorial Fund. The Fund will enable us to recreate online Arthur’s lecture series with his original slides and based on his notes. These will be freely available on the internet and a fitting tribute to Arthur’s contribution to Faversham. I hope that you will want to support this initiative. Jan is selling tickets – please buy yours tonight.
When the Society reaches out with market or festival stalls, to local organisations like the Faversham and District Camera Club and St Mary of Charity, as we did when we jointly organised the Paul Binski lecture last autumn of the wall paintings, we get an enthusiastic response – we are now working more closely with the Town Council and other heritage groups in Swale. As I outline in our Annual Report we re-organised our committees and formalised delegated powers to enable the Board to spend more time on strategic issues. Our financial position is now stronger and we have a premises fund which will enable us to undertake a programme of planned maintenance. We have made some progress in improving two-way communications both with our members and those with an interest in the town. The Board is committed to reviewing our communications strategy shortly.
I can’t conclude without saying thank you to all those who contributed to the Creek Neighbourhood Plan. The Society encouraged its members and the residents of Faversham to vote yes in the May 4th referendum. On a turnout of 42.28%, very nearly as many votes as were cast for our representatives on KCC, 5,418 voted for the Neighbourhood Plan and just 706 against. The Society joined with the Faversham Creek Trust with a stall in the Market Place on the Saturday preceding the vote to explain the Society’s thinking on the Plan, the referendum and the critical link with the Swing Bridge which should now go ahead.
The Society is pleased that the residents of Faversham voted in such large numbers in support of the Neighbourhood Plan. The Plan is a compromise between many competing interests and the Inspector made some major changes too. We are keen to see initiatives which create employment for local people and to secure a great deal more affordable housing for residents and their children. The planning policies in the Neighbourhood Plan will also assist the Society in making its case for the conservation of our heritage and providing leisure and recreational access for residents and visitors. We shall doubtless have to continue to campaign in responding to planning applications – the Neighbourhood Plan will provide some support for the Society in making those arguments for conservation, for our maritime heritage, for leisure and recreation for residents and visitors, for affordable housing and employment creation.
With the opening of so many new museums, including the Police Museum and 12 Market Place, the plans for the wall paintings in St Mary of Charity and the continuing success of the Best of Faversham Market, Faversham is attracting more and more visitors. Much of what they come to see is in the public realm, the historic fabric of our town. The Society and its members have done a great deal of work over the last 55 years to protect, interpret and present our heritage for the enjoyment of local residents and visitors. It is however critical that we engage with the next generations, if we fail to do this then our heritage is not safe. We need to redouble our efforts – working with conservation architects, archaeologists, conservationists, historians and planners to continue the work of our forebears – cherishing the past, adorning the present and creating the future. The future will be what we make it.
I’d like now to hear from you and to take questions…
There is a great deal more about the Society’s work in 2016 in the Annual Report http://www.favershamsociety.org/img/Annual_Report_2016.pdf
Bess Browning of Kent Messenger reported that the referendum on the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan had approved it,
“88% vote in favour of the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan. 5,418 votes cast for yes with just 706 for no.”
Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan 42.28%
Faversham Local Elections 42.94%
The Society will remain vigilant and continue to scrutinise planning applications.
At its meeting, on 28th March the Board determined the Society’s position on the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan in the referendum on May 4th.
Society’s position on the Referendum on the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan
The Faversham Society recognises that the development of the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan was a difficult process and that the resulting Neighbourhood Plan due to go to a referendum on May 4th is a compromise between many competing interests. The Society broadly supports the Neighbourhood Plan as it stands and recommends that its members vote in favour of it.
The Faversham Society will continue to consider particular development proposals on their merits and to make representations in furtherance of the maintenance of our heritage in accordance with the Society’s objects.
Letter sent to
Transport Strategy Team,
Planning and Environment Division,
Kent County Council,
Kent ME14 1XX
We are responding to your invitation to comment on the draft Freight Action Plan. What we want to say doesn’t fit into the questionnaire format so would you please accept this letter as our response.
It is not easy for Counties to control lorry movements using the limited powers available to them within the existing legal framework. The KCC Freight Action Plan makes a fair stab at the problem, drawing together a number of measures that have already been implemented and suggesting a couple of new proposals. But they are not very specific: the document is vague on the details and gives no timescales for implementation. I suggest we confine our response to asking questions rather than questioning the aims or the policy as such.
The Society strongly supports the efforts of the KCC to control undesirable lorry movements together with inappropriate overnight lorry parking. The draft Freight Action Plan mentions several measures that are already in place. However, we would like the draft to be clearer on the new ones so we can comment sensibly on what is being proposed. Our main queries are as follows:
1. What is the total capacity of the proposed new network of lorry parks and how does it measure up against existing facilities? Could the Plan say where they are to be located, and what is the timescale for implementation?
2. The Freight Journey Planner will be useful for operators who don’t know the local road network, especially those based overseas. Could the Freight Action Plan please explain whether there is a strategy for promoting its use among operators and how it will work?
3. The Plan refers to a proposed connected/autonomous vehicle control corridor on the A2/M2 corridor. Could the Report please make clear who is implementing the plan and what is the timescale?
4. Could the Plan prioritise new areas for implementing Lorrywatch schemes?
5. Could the Plan please specify what options are available for Faversham, whose core network of medieval streets is particularly vulnerable to the environmental impact of heavy goods traffic?
We look forward to your reply….
The KCC Freight Action Plan Consultation Draft can be downloaded from the KCC web site at kent.gov.uk/freightactionplan. The Plan aims to reduce the impact of growing road freight traffic on local communities. It has been prepared by KCC staff under the direction of the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport Matthew Balfour. The deadline for responses is 12 March 2017.
What the Plan proposes
There are five main actions, most of which are already taking place. Paraphrased, they are:
1. Tackling the problem of overnight lorry parking
2. Finding a long-term solution to Operation Stack
3. Confining HGV routeing where possible to the strategic road network
4. Protecting local communities by restricting access
5. Planning and development control of potentially harmful freight-generating land uses.
Overnight lorry parking
A survey in September 2016 showed that around 700 lorries are illegally parked overnight on principal roads in Kent. The greatest concentration occurs in Swale around the Port of Sheerness. Ashford Borough Council already issues warning notices and penalty charges for illegal lorry parking, and may clamp frequent offenders. Highways England is proposing an overnight lorry park with 500 spaces at its Operation Stack site.
The Action Plan says the KCC ‘is developing a strategy’ for a network of small lorry parks with suitable facilities for overnight stops. They will be priced so as not to compete unfairly with existing commercial sites. No numbers are quoted, there are no indications of where the sites might be, and there is no indication of the timescale for completion.
Highways England has created the Operation Stack facility at Stanford West off the M20. It has 3600 spaces. Under extreme conditions this will not be enough and the police will still need to store another 3600 vehicles on the east-bound carriageway of the M20, but the west-bound carriageway will remain clear. In 2015 Dover introduced a smaller scheme on the A20 to protect the Town centre.
The KCC Action Plan supports these initiatives but seems not to propose any further action.
The Department for Transport is promoting the use of new technology that connects vehicles electronically and allows autonomous (‘hands-off’) control.
The KCC Plan says that a scheme for the A2/M2 corridor is being developed, but does not make clear by whom, or by when.
But the KCC has adopted and developed a Freight Journey Planner on-line mapping tool that can be downloaded from freightgateway.co.uk/kent. It is said to feed into lorry satnavs. The map can be configured to show local height, width and weight restrictions, but not parking controls.
In general, there are four ways of deterring lorries from entering sensitive areas unsuitable for heavy vehicles:
– width and height restrictions (on environmental grounds)
– height and weight restrictions (to protect bridges)
– advisory signs (flagging roads that are unsuitable for heavy vehicles – not legally enforceable)
– direction signs (encouraging lorries to use a particular route).
In 2012, KCC launched in collaboration with the police and local communities a Lorrywatch scheme in selected areas. Examples are Smarden, Sandwich and Westerham. Local residents are asked to report instances where lorries violate restrictions to the County’s Freight Officer. Repeated violations can lead to prosecution for UK-based vehicles but not those based overseas. Recently schemes have been added in which the Freight Officer contacts firms whose vehicles have been observed flouting the restrictions, but has no legal powers to enforce them. There is no mention of any scheme, mandatory or otherwise, in Swale.
The Freight Action Plan does not appear to recommend any new schemes under this heading.
A developer can be required by the KCC to produce a Transport Assessment that identifies potentially adverse impacts of freight movements associated with the scheme together with mitigation measures. KCC monitors applications for HGV operator licences and can object.
The Freight Action Plan does not propose any extension to these measures.