Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Save Standard Quay

Located at Faversham in Kent, Standard Quay is one of two remaining boatyards where Thames sailing barges can be repaired and restored.

The boatyard is a viable going concern, with orders on the books. Craftsmen and apprentices are employed there, keeping traditional skills alive. The Quay is located at Faversham Creek and has a 300 year history of involvement with boatbuilding.

The threat to the boatyard`s continued existence will come in June when the lease expires and the owner plans to turn the yard into a tourist attraction/nightlife and restaurants type of thingy.

Campaigners are calling on Swale Borough Council to make a compulsory purchase order, which is probably unrealistic and almost certainly undesireable. It would be possible for the Council to rule out the proposed change of use, which is a secondary objective that campaigners have.

The campaign details, including links to media coverage are here ;  


Clearly, no-one is preventing the owner from continuing to own the land and draw revenue from it. The owners of the boatyard business are willing to continue to rent the property, and are equally willing to buy the freehold. They infer that there is a threat to their livelihood if they have to leave the premises to make way for a new development.

It would be interesting to know what arguments the property owners would put forward - presumably the proposed new development would, if viable, be more lucrative for them and would generate jobs.

Ultimately, it does present Swale Borough Council with a decision as to what kind of development they see as appropriate for their area, and how much they are prepared to intervene.  

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