SE Faversham: Fact Checker

The Swale Planning Portal contains extensive documentation detailing the Duchy proposal. The Community Land Trust is working its way through the details, and this will take time. We will publish more in due course when our review and analysis are completed.

This Fact Checker was produced by Stephen Atkins, formerly a chartered surveyor (planning and development) and now the land director for the Faversham Community Land Trust. As the Community Land Trust, we are particularly keen to examine the proposals for social rent and locally affordable housing.

We would like to see an inclusive and well-informed debate about housing needs for Faversham residents - as our previous research has demonstrated, there is a very substantial shortage of housing in our town.

3 comments on “SE Faversham: Fact Checker”

  1. The Duchy (SE Faversham) is Best and Most Versatile land. Grades 1-3.

    The Food Security Report UK Parliament 2022-2023 states:

    “40. The UKFSR noted that, in 2020, 71% of UK land area was used for agricultural production, the majority of which was grassland for grazing rather than crops, and that land use overall had changed little in the last thirty years. The UKFSR noted that not all land is suitable for growing crops, and some is suitable only for specific crops.110 It added that:

    Food security rests ultimately not on maximising domestic production (which is market driven), BUT ON MAKING BEST USE OF LAND TYPES WHICH VARY IN QUALITY AND POTENTIAL USES.”

    https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5803/cmselect/cmenvfru/622/report.html#heading-4

  2. Farms, Fields & Fresh air has not put in an objection as a group. So how can FCLT say that we’ve said those things about this development?

    With 1400 members people comment sometimes without having read the documents on the planning portal, we can’t control those comments, but do correct incorrect assumptions when we notice inaccuracies.

    I’ve started calculating just how much BMV agricultural land in Swale it takes up. BMV is key, not just any old agricultural land. Grades 1-3.

    Solar - we’ve stated in the past it should be on rooftops but we’ve not said it isn’t included in this proposal.

    Affordable housing - what we have stated is correct - the application form only ticks the box for market housing. In reality this is rural and should have 40% affordable housing - 1000 dwellings. And Duchy are out of touch thinking 30% off = people on waiting list can afford to buy! Which I quote from the email the Duchy sent me.

    Sewage - iffy sending lorry loads of sewage off to the nearest non nutrient-neutral sewage works as they are at Thanet or Medway! The Duchy sewage treatment works will not be ready till first 60 houses are built. I, personally, still think an experimental sewage works built by Severn Trent is going to be problematic.

    Nutrient Pollution is a real and current problem in Boughton’s drinking water supply and 26% of the development falls into that parish.

    The Duchy acknowledges pollution of the water table under their land but FCLT think it will be solved in 20 years when the estate is finished!

  3. FCLT Response to Carol Goatham

    Farms, Fields & Fresh air has not put in an objection as a group. So how can FCLT say that we’ve said those things about this development?
    RESPONSE - We note that FFFA is an unconstituted single issue campaigning group and that you, as a founding member, are the acknowledged leader.

    With 1400 members people comment sometimes without having read the documents on the planning portal, we can’t control those comments, but do correct incorrect assumptions when we notice inaccuracies.
    RESPONSE-We all struggle to locate documents on the portal which is by no means user friendly! We cannot say that we have noticed any corrections. Our Fact Tracker has been set up to correct misunderstandings in planning objections and on social media. We think it is important that the Town has an informed debate on the issues in contention.

    I have started calculating just how much BMV agricultural land in Swale it takes up. BMV is key, not just any old agricultural land. Grades 1-3.
    RESPONSE - Please post your conclusions. Have any soil quality tests been undertaken?

    Solar we’ve stated in the past it should be on rooftops but we’ve not said it isn’t included in this proposal.
    RESPONSE - Your followers have posted this numerous times in the context of SE Faversham. Surely the Greens amongst them will be delighted that the Duchy are not the same as the volume housebuilders who consciously water down even the minimum sustainability standards to maximise cost savings? Fernham Homes had to have their arms twisted to deliver car chargers and then only offered to beef up the mains. The charging stations are a buyer retrofit. The Duchy have presented a ground breaking, exemplar, carbon neutral, smart zero energy strategy.

    Affordable housing – what we have stated is correct - the application form only ticks the box for market housing.
    RESPONSE-this is of course a subject that is dear to our hearts. Ticking the box is not material in the context of the application. We have clearly stated the Duchy’s proposals as set out in the Planning and Design and Access Statements. Our next blog will address in detail the planning context of the proposal, mix and affordability issues in a lot more detail. Please note the post that you made in relation to the unaffordability of First Homes (discounted homes) , with an example of a £500,000 purchase, is flawed. The price of First Homes outside London is capped at £250,000.

    In reality this is rural and should have 40% affordable housing - 1000 dwellings. And Duchy are out of touch thinking 30% off people on waiting list can afford to buy! Which I quote from the email the Duchy sent me.
    - Please see comment above

    Sewage - iffy sending lorry loads of sewage off to the nearest non nutrient-neutral sewage works as they are at Thanet or Medway! The Duchy sewage treatment works will not be ready till the first 60 houses are built.
    RESPONSE - This is a temporary solution and is no different and de minimis compared to the emptying and disposal of the hundreds of cesspits across the rural hinterland. Achieving nutrient neutrality often requires mitigation as part of development, either in the form of on-site treatment of wastewater and surface water runoff, or by offsetting any increase in nutrient loading by converting land on or off-site with woodlands or wetlands or through other means of mitigation designed to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen entering into the river. This is precisely what the Duchy are proposing with their Water Treatment Plant and Sustainable Urban Drainage system. The scheme has been designed so that no water will be going into rivers or waste into the sewage works.

    I, personally, still think an experimental sewage works built by Severn Trent is going to be problematic.
    RESPONSE - Pioneering solutions often are but at least they are striving to do something to fill the void created by the water companies. A bonus is that the cost will not be appearing as a surcharge on our bills!

    Nutrient Pollution is a real and current problem in Boughton’s drinking water supply and 26% of the development falls into that parish.
    RESPONSE - Nutrient contamination is an awful problem - how do you address it other than by installing a nitrate removal plant at the waterworks?

    The Duchy acknowledges pollution of the water table under their land but FCLT think it will be solved in 20 years when the estate is finished!
    RESPONSE-Nitrate pollution from the site will cease when intensive agricultural use ends The contamination from historic agricultural pollution will remain in the ground. The Duchy Land is not designated as being in a vulnerable nitrate protection zone, and as such there is no bar on these grounds against development.In reality this is rural and should have 40% affordable housing - 1000 dwellings. And Duchy are out of touch thinking 30% off people on waiting list can afford to buy! Which I quote from the email the Duchy sent me.
    - Please see comment above

    Sewage - iffy sending lorry loads of sewage off to the nearest non nutrient-neutral sewage works as they are at Thanet or Medway! The Duchy sewage treatment works will not be ready till the first 60 houses are built.
    RESPONSE - This is a temporary solution and is no different and de minimis compared to the emptying and disposal of the hundreds of cesspits across the rural hinterland. Achieving nutrient neutrality often requires mitigation as part of development, either in the form of on-site treatment of wastewater and surface water runoff, or by offsetting any increase in nutrient loading by converting land on or off-site with woodlands or wetlands or through other means of mitigation designed to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen entering into the river. This is precisely what the Duchy are proposing with their Water Treatment Plant and Sustainable Urban Drainage system. The scheme has been designed so that no water will be going into rivers or waste into the sewage works.

    I, personally, still think an experimental sewage works built by Severn Trent is going to be problematic.
    RESPONSE - Pioneering solutions often are but at least they are striving to do something to fill the void created by the water companies. A bonus is that the cost will not be appearing as a surcharge on our bills!

    Nutrient Pollution is a real and current problem in Boughton’s drinking water supply and 26% of the development falls into that parish.
    RESPONSE - Nutrient contamination is an awful problem - how do you address it other than by installing a nitrate removal plant at the waterworks?

    The Duchy acknowledges pollution of the water table under their land but FCLT think it will be solved in 20 years when the estate is finished!
    RESPONSE-Nitrate pollution from the site will cease when intensive agricultural use ends The contamination from historic agricultural pollution will remain in the ground. The Duchy Land is not designated as being in a vulnerable nitrate protection zone, and as such there is no bar on these grounds against development.

    In reality this is rural and should have 40% affordable housing - 1000 dwellings. And Duchy are out of touch thinking 30% off people on waiting list can afford to buy! Which I quote from the email the Duchy sent me.
    - Please see comment above

    Sewage - iffy sending lorry loads of sewage off to the nearest non nutrient-neutral sewage works as they are at Thanet or Medway! The Duchy sewage treatment works will not be ready till the first 60 houses are built.
    RESPONSE - This is a temporary solution and is no different and de minimis compared to the emptying and disposal of the hundreds of cesspits across the rural hinterland. Achieving nutrient neutrality often requires mitigation as part of development, either in the form of on-site treatment of wastewater and surface water runoff, or by offsetting any increase in nutrient loading by converting land on or off-site with woodlands or wetlands or through other means of mitigation designed to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen entering into the river. This is precisely what the Duchy are proposing with their Water Treatment Plant and Sustainable Urban Drainage system. The scheme has been designed so that no water will be going into rivers or waste into the sewage works.

    I, personally, still think an experimental sewage works built by Severn Trent is going to be problematic.
    RESPONSE - Pioneering solutions often are but at least they are striving to do something to fill the void created by the water companies. A bonus is that the cost will not be appearing as a surcharge on our bills!

    Nutrient Pollution is a real and current problem in Boughton’s drinking water supply and 26% of the development falls into that parish.
    RESPONSE - Nutrient contamination is an awful problem - how do you address it other than by installing a nitrate removal plant at the waterworks?

    The Duchy acknowledges pollution of the water table under their land but FCLT think it will be solved in 20 years when the estate is finished!
    RESPONSE-Nitrate pollution from the site will cease when intensive agricultural use ends The contamination from historic agricultural pollution will remain in the ground. The Duchy Land is not designated as being in a vulnerable nitrate protection zone, and as such there is no bar on these grounds against development.

  4. 25 April 2023
    The number of empty homes in London has risen to its highest level since 2010, figures reveal.
    Some 34,327 properties were classed as "long-term vacant" as of 31 March 2022, government data showed.
    The highest amount was found in Southwark, with 2,422 empty homes, followed by Newham and Barnet.
    Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said it was "deeply frustrating" to see empty properties when many people need a "secure home".
    Properties are classed as "long-term vacant" when they have been empty for more than six months and are "substantially unfurnished".
    The figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government included both privately-owned, council and housing association homes.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c976lzzz1pno?mibextid=K35XfP

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Registered Office: 12 Market Place, Faversham, Kent ME13 7AE | Email: info:favershamcommunitylandtrust.org
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