Published: 06:00, 28 July 2020
Seven houses, a cafe and sailing club are set to be built at Faversham Creek as part of a major development
Faversham Joinery Ltd wants to regenerate the former oil depot, which has stood derelict in Ordnance Wharf, off Flood Lane, for more than 30 years.
Developers propose building tall townhouses on the redundant land, as well as opening a boat-building workshop to train apprentices in the joinery trade.
They also want to open a cafe as a “focal point for the community” at the Creek.
But critics have hit out the scheme - labelling it “overly intensive” and “massively overshadowing” to the historic purifier building opposite.
Before becoming an oil depot, the land played a key role in the town’s long history of gunpowder manufacturing - a factor objectors are wary of protecting.
However, developers say the plans are sympathetic to the surrounding area and in-keeping with the existing architecture.
They suggest the residential offering is the most important element of the proposal as it will help “generate sufficient income to cover the very high costs of the site development”.
Accommodation would be on the upper floors due to the flood risks at Ordnance Wharf.
If approved, two buildings would be built - one with five houses and the workshop; and the other with two houses, sailing club and cafe.
The plans state: “As the site is extremely suitable for small sailing craft, a boat gantry is to be installed so that boats can be easily lowered into or raised out the Creek. At the south end of the site there will be a sailing club/community facility incorporating a cafe to encourage the Creekside activity of small craft use and be a focal point for the community, for all members of the public local and visitors.”
Faversham Town Council and the Faversham Society are among those to object against the proposal.
'The site is an ugly wasteland that could be put to a much better use...'
Griselda Mussett, a former chairman of the Creek Trust, cites fears over the instability of the wharf and “serious contamination risks” at the former oil works site.
She stresses that toxic material has sunken beneath the surface.
“It must surely be unthinkable that any residential development could be permitted on such a contaminated site without it being completely cleaned first,” she said.
Paul Shirlaw, who backs the scheme, said: “The site is an ugly wasteland that could be put to a much better use and will be good for both housing and local amenity value.”
More by this authorJoe Wright
This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)