It seems inevitable that there will be considerably more new houses built in and around Faversham in the next two decades, but much can be done to incorporate them into existing and sensible new boundaries of the current town layout and certainly not beyond the M2. However, it is vitally important that our Town Councillors and representatives on the Borough Council ght to ensure that the numbers of houses Swale has seemingly arbitrarily allocated to Faversham, be challenged.
It is essential that our planners should insist that we get the type of homes we need for our existing population and that they are designed to much higher environmental standards than the bare minimum, developers usually get away with. Renewable energy systems cost little more when they are incorporated into the initial build but are much more expensive when retrofitted, they should not be considered as an optional extra. Exterior porous surfaces and sustainable surface water management systems should also be mandatory.
Proposed new development should avoid areas which have been identified in the recently commissioned (at a cost of around £38,000) Swale Landscape Sensitivity Assessment.
Infrastructure in general and our sewage system in particular, must be improved to cope with the rising population.
The reports published in this issue are silent on the importance of ensuring the Creek and Basin are protected. We expect them to form a significant part of the final plan.
Finally, it is noted on page three of this issue that the Government are proposing to reform the planning system in such a way as to allow developers even more freedom to concrete over our countryside. Although 10 Kent MPs have signed an open letter expressing their opposition to these reforms, our Faversham representative, Helen Whatley, was not one of them. We are sure that this was just an oversight on her part.