Planning and Development
Like many other places around the country, Swale is facing a large number of housing and industrial developments to meet growing needs.
We campaign to:
Ensure proposals are not sited on valuable wildlife sites or inappropriate locations - and opposing the planning applications where necessary.
Ensure any new houses and other developments are designed sustainably and built to be low/zero carbon. This means lobbying for features like solar panels, high standards of energy efficiency, rainwater collection, green spaces and tree-planting, cycling and walking links, electric vehicle charging points etc.
Conyer Brickworks Housing Plans
Currently we are opposing an application to build 24 luxury homes on the former Conyer Brickworks, now a precious wildlife site and home to threatened Turtle Doves and Nightingales.
Please comment on the planning application here, where you will also be able to read Swale FoE’s objection.
Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans
We also provide constructive input to local and and national planning policies when they are being drawn up or updated, including the Swale Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans, like Faversham Neighbourhood Plan.
In 2020 we took part in a Community Conference organised by Faversham Town Council to discuss the local environment.
In April 2021 we submitted detailed comments on the draft Swale Local Plan. The Plan includes proposals for the development of an extra 10,000 houses in Swale, due to Central Government targets - far too many for a constrained area like ours. We note that, while the Plan includes many welcome measures, such as encouraging sustainable travel like walking and cycling, and higher environmental standards for new buildings, we are concerned at plans to build on greenfield sites with wildlife and heritage value and in particular plans for road-building linked to the proposed Teynham ‘Area of Opportunity’. It is essential that the Plan is consistent with the Council’s current goals on carbon reduction and biodiversity and it must also be fit for a future of even higher climate change targets. We have recommended stronger measures to protect and enhance tree and hedgerow coverage and would like greater clarity and ambition overall. We will monitor the next steps for the draft Plan.
Local Green Spaces
Our members recently responded to a consultation by Swale Borough Council on new proposals for Local Green Spaces, as part of the Local Plan, and we will continue to lobby for these to be designated.
Access to green spaces is important not just for protecting and restoring nature but for our own physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Ask your MP to defend our planning system from harmful reforms