England Coast Path – Natural England published on 21 June 2017 their report recommending a proposed route for the England Coast Path from Whitstable to Iwade, including through Faversham.   The Group has welcomed the report but has made representations concerning a proposal to exclude part of the Iron Wharf Boatyard from the ‘coastal access’ provisions.  See the main page for further details.

Creekside walk at Faversham Reach and Waterside Close – A KCC panel meeting on 22 February 2016 unanimously approved a recommendation for a Creekside path running along the front of both the Faversham Reach and Waterside Close estates, with ramps at either end. KCC issued the necessary Orders for formal consultation, with a closing date of 18 July 2016.  The Orders were eventually submitted to the S of S in early May 2017.  A public inquiry was held from 16-18 January 2018.  The Inspector confirmed both Orders.  See the main page for more details.

Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan – the Plan was approved by 88% of those who voted in the referendum on 4 May 2017.  The Plan, which will govern development in the Creek area, includes provision for a Creekside path, so any future planning application affecting the Creekside must contain plans for such a path.

Footpath round the perimeter of Faversham Reach  – the Group wrote to KCC expressing its support for the proposal to add this path to the Definitive Map of public footpaths.  KCC duly made an order to this effect.

Walks – see the ‘walks’ page for details of our walks.

Footpath from Jubilee Way to the Recreation Ground – the Group is supporting the proposal for a footpath from Jubilee Way to the Rec, which would particularly help residents in the Edward Vinson estate and employees in Jubilee Way businesses who want to walk to and from the station.

Designating footpaths – the Group has carried out detailed work to identify paths, alleyways etc in Faversham which might require adding to the Definitive Footpaths Map in order to guard against the risk that public access might be lost in future.  The Group is also working with Ramblers in examining specific footpath ‘anomalies’ in the Faversham area and beyond.

Planning application for houses at former Oil Depot – planning application 16/508709 proposed ten houses on this site and a Creekside promenade.  However, it was not clear from the plans that this would be a public footpath or how it could be accessed by the public. Mainly as a result of FFG’s representations conditions were added by Swale BC Planning Committee when it approved revised plans on 6 December 2018 that will ensure that the promenade will be a public walkway in perpetuity, enabling it to link up in due course with the promenade at Provender Walk and the Coach Depot site to form a continuous Creekside path.

Proposed housing development at New Creek Road – the Group submitted comments on a planning application for nine dwellings at New Creek Road (on land next to Standard House), arguing that the opportunity should be taken to sort out the present difficulty regarding footpath ZF39, which presently runs on an unofficial line between Huckstepps Wharf/the Oyster Bay Warehouse and the area of land concerned.  A revised application (19/501612/FULL) has now been submitted which proposes five two-storey dwellings fronting Faversham Creek and one two-storey dwelling fronting New Creek Road, plus the provision of eight parking spaces and improvement to the surfacing of the adjoining public footpath.  The Group has welcomed the proposal to improve the condition of the unofficial path line but has reiterated its view that the underlying issue of the line of the path should be tackled.

East Kent Recycling at Oare – the Group is concerned that the proposed expansion of East Kent Recycling’s activities at Oare, with the accompanying increase in vehicle movements, will cause added danger to pedestrians using the access road, which is due to become part of the England Coast Path. The Group has made representations to Natural England about this matter and also commented on the original and revised planning applications, arguing that a proper footpath must be provided if the planning application were to be approved.  KCC approved the application in July 2019 but subject to a number of conditions.  The Group has also liaised with Uproare, the campaigning group of local residents, about an application for a Definitive Map Modification Order to add the track to the Definitive Map.  Uproare submitted this application and FFG members have provided supporting evidence of longstanding use of the track.

Proposed solar complex at Cleve Hill – the Group’s Executive Committee considers that the visual impact of this complex would be unacceptable to walkers using footpaths in the area.  It  submitted the following objections as part of the phase two consultation arrangements: FFG – Cleve Hill solar complex – comments  The various walking groups decided to give joint evidence in the formal examination, with Ramblers in the lead: Cleve Hill – Ramblers’ written representation  The most relevant hearing, on ‘Landscape and Visual Amenity Matters’, took place on 23 July 2019.

Duchy of Cornwall proposal for a ‘garden village’ on land south of the Selling Road the Group has been represented at meetings organised by the Duchy and will monitor any proposed development to ensure that opportunities for public rights of way are maximised.

Possible ‘garden village’ at North Street – the Group attended a public meeting held at Sheldwich Village Hall about this possible development and will continue to take a close interest if the proposal is taken forward.

Proposed development of ‘cherry orchard’ site on corner of A2/Western Link Road – the Group has objected to the proposal by Shepherd Neame and Network Rail to close the railway level crossing (public footpath ZF9).  The outcome of an informal hearing held on 15 October 2019 is awaited.

2019 AGM – the Group’s next AGM will be on Thursday 14 November 2019 at 7.30pm in the Jubilee Room at the Alexander Centre.  Ian Wild of Kent Ramblers will give a talk after the official business has been completed.

Ann Hopkins

The Group was very sad to learn of the death of Ann Hopkins, who was one of the founder members of the Group and who continued to support the Group even whilst she was terminally ill.