Hundreds join Faversham march in peaceful protest over greenfield development

It is estimated that at least 200 people joined the rally (pic Tilly Bayes)

More than 200 people marched peacefully through Faversham at the weekend in protest at the proposed development of thousands of houses around the historic market town.
The rally, on Saturday, January 22, was organised by local group Farms, Fields and Fresh Air in response to Swale Borough Council’s Regulation 19 (Publication) Local Plan – the document to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for public examination.
This Plan, the version that the council is seeking to adopt, entails the loss of substantial amounts of Grade1 agricultural land close to the historic market town.
The Faversham protestors were joined by individuals and groups from across the county, including Save Kent’s Green Spaces, Save Capel (Tunbridge Wells) and Save Our Heathlands (Lenham); CPRE Kent also had a presence.


A spokesman from Farms, Fields and Fresh Air said: “All wanted to show their solidarity with Faversham and to stop the ceaseless destruction of Kent’s green spaces, agricultural land and wildlife habitat.
“Government policies encourage developers who, like a swarm of locusts, have descended to devour the Garden of England. The devastation has to stop.
“Brownfield and repurposing should be incentivised. Green fields should be properly protected. Real local need should define development, with a focus on truly affordable housing and environmental safeguards. We are stronger when we support each other.”

  • If you’re part of a campaign hosting an event and you would like to invite like-minded people from across the county, you can email Save Kent’s Green Spaces at savekentsgreenspaces@gmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/savekentsgreenspaces and, if appropriate, it will be advertised
  • Learn more about Farms, Fields and Fresh Air here
  • To read more about the Swale Local Plan, click here
  • For more on Save Kent’s Green Spaces, see here
Campaigners from across the county joined the protest (pic Tilly Bayes)

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Faversham protest walk will focus on loss of countryside to thousands of houses… and people from across Kent are invited

The countryside around Faversham is beautiful… whatever the weather (pic Julie Davies)

Faversham campaign group Farms, Fields & Fresh Air are hosting a peaceful protest walk on Saturday (January 22) highlighting damaging proposals for the countryside around the town presented in the Swale Local Plan.
The walk is timed to focus councillors’ minds before they finalise plans to site 17,000 houses across the borough for the Planning Inspectorate (Regulation 19 of the Local Plan process).
The gentle stroll starts at 11.30am from the United Church, Preston Street, Faversham ME13 8NS and will progress to the heart of the oldest market town in Kent, the Market Place itself.
You are warmly invited to come along and support this initiative. You can bring placards to show that the whole of Kent is united in anger at the rampant destruction of our county’s countryside. And when it’s your turn, hopefully people from Faversham and elsewhere will return the compliment.
Together as Kent, we are loud enough to be heard beyond local councils – as far as central government, from where a change in law to protect our green spaces, agricultural land and wildlife habitat from rampant development must come.
And if you have never been to the beautiful and historic town of Faversham, now is your chance. You will not just be helping to protect the fields in this area but across the whole of Kent – while having a great day out at the same time.

  • For more on Farms, Fields & Fresh Air, click here
  • If you have a countryside protection campaign reaching a critical point and you want to reach out across the county in a similar way, Save Kent’s Green Spaces will post the details if appropriate to the aim of saving Kent through peaceful protest.  
  • For more on Save Kent’s Green Spaces, click here

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

More than 30 groups join Kent’s Day of Action

They came from Cliffe, they came from Eccles, they came from Tunbridge Wells, they came from Folkestone, they came from Thanet… north, south, east and west, they came from across the county to join Kent’s Day of Action.
More than 1,000 people gathered on Sunday, November 28, for the Save Kent’s Green Spaces protest organised by Dave Lovell. All were expressing their anger and upset over the loss of so much countryside to development.
The turnout of more than 30 groups on a bitingly cold day was an extraordinary result, especially given the short notice of the event.
Mr Lovell, who had been so involved with the Save Capel group, said: “At least 30 groups came out, some of them joining up together. Most sent us photos and many of these have placed in a digital photo album.”
Highlighting the staggering onslaught facing Kent in the coming years, Mr Lovell said: “We’ve estimated that 17,000 acres are under threat of widespread development – an area larger than Manhattan Island – but we know that’s nowhere near the true figure and that is scary.   
“The figures don’t cover just housing – they include solar farms, for example. And there’s the concern that those solar farms are the thin end of the wedge, paving the way for housing that will theoretically get its power from them. They can be a trigger for further development, which is happening around Capel [near Tunbridge Wells].”
Sadly, many reading this will concur wholeheartedly with Mr Lovell’s view that “there is a huge scale of destruction coming like nothing we’ve seen before”.
“This counting of the destruction of countryside is not being done by councils – no one is actually counting how much is being lost,” he added.
He was understandably delighted that so many people came out: “It was a fantastic response. Anyone can put ‘likes’ or emojis on social media – it’s much harder to get feet on the ground.
“When we started this, we had no idea what the response would be. But on the day itself we were sitting in the pub after our walk and the phones were going ballistic as the pictures came in. Then we had an idea of what we had achieved.”

  • You can see the Day of Action photo album here
  • For more on this story, see here and here

Wednesday, December 15, 2021