Fordwich Town Council

Fordwich Town Council

Welcome to Fordwich

Fordwich Town Hall opening times are 1.30pm – 4.00pm;

Sunday 11th October

Sunday 18th October

Sunday 25th October

Sunday 1st November

All visitors are required to wear a face covering. Entry fee is £2.00.

We look forward to seeing you.


An important note for all residents from the Fordwich Town Council July  2020


Where we are today.

Fordwich is, as it has been almost since time immemorial, a small rural town, set on the river Stour just 2 miles down stream from Canterbury. The cluster of houses, church, Town Hall and two pubs represent a glimpse of the continuity and antiquity of English History. Woodland to the North, South and East and meadows and woodland to the West along with the River Stour itself give the setting.

It is not a place without problems. The road network which owes its origins to either the Romans or even the pre-Roman settlers, has become a rat run for people circumnavigating their way around Canterbury to the Isle of Thanet. Roads that have never had to deal with more than cart, horse or pedestrian are being lined with cars that far out number the space available.

Since Town Council meetings resumed by Zoom in May and society has begun to creep out of Lock-down four potential situations have risen; 1.  The change of use of the Old Timberyard on Moat Lane from light industrial to residential – with permission to build up to six houses. 2. The Council has been approached by developers for their opinion of a development of up to 45 houses on a 3.6 hectare site out of the 21 hectare of the Old Nursery or Plantation – the entrance being off the bottom of Well Lane.. 3. The riverbank, the river itself and the area around the Bretts site has seen a great increase in use and abuse. 4. The Bretts estate, we have heard, is planning on closure and there is the possibility of more housing being planned in that area. 5. Slightly further afield in Sturry the A28 bypass as proposed will open the door to up to 1000 houses. 6. Westbere Council is seeking to have the Two Fields site- just across the railway line from Bretts designated as a ‘Village Green’.

The Fordwich Town Council considers that the time is now right to bring these matters to the attention of the population of Fordwich and to seek as wide a range of opinions as possible.

Having met with the developers of the of the Old Nursery site the Town Councillors discussed the matter and agreed to oppose any development on the site on the following grounds;

  1. it was not in the Canterbury City Council Local Plan dated 2017.
  2. When the site first came on to the market in 2019 the Council was told that any development on that site would not receive the Council’s backing because it is not in the Local plan and is in a Conservation area.
  3. the practical problems of developing the site – access, drainage etc. would make it unfeasible.
  4. A development of 45 houses so far off any connection to sustainable transport – bus services and trains – would bring up to 90 more cars onto the road and work contrary to Canterbury City Council’s Climate Change Emergency planning guidelines.
  5. The significant potential for negative ecological impact, given that for over 15 years, the site has become a natural wildlife haven for flora and fauna as well as insects, reptiles, animals and birds.

Fordwich Town’s next steps:

  1. The Town Council wished to bring these challenges to the attention of the Town’s population. What do you think ?
  2. The Town Council’s view is that we should be doing two things:
  1. Researching and preparing our arguments to oppose any planning application for housing on the Old Nursery site. The Town Council needs to provide some feedback to the developers by mid-September and so we wish to hear from residents
  2. Thinking about what the Town should be like in 10 or 20 years time, and particularly how to enhance the strengths and manage the current and growing challenges, particularly of land use, traffic flows, parking, litter and antisocial behaviour.

To these ends, we would welcome your thought and ideas, and particularly from any residents of the Town with some skills and/or experience in ecology, transport, development, fund raising, etc

Please respond via email to: or letter to; Christmas House, High Street, Fordwich CT2 0DX

Date of the Town’s First Meeting to consider the potential development and the future of Fordwich. Wednesday Sept 9th 7.30pm in St Mary’s, following Social Distancing regulations.

———————–end special message———-

Fordwich is a beautiful and ancient port on the River Great Stour, two miles downstream from the City of Canterbury in Kent.

Although Fordwich has never boasted more than a few hundred inhabitants, its right to style itself a town dates from 1184, when King Henry II granted it a Merchant Gild Charter, reflecting its importance as the de facto port for Canterbury.

In the Domesday Book, it was described as a small burgh, one of only seven burghs in Kent. Since the 13th century, Fordwich has been involved with the Cinque Ports through its geographical and institutional links with Sandwich.

Fordwich Town Council today is, in legal terms, a parish council composed of five members either elected, or more usually appointed. The original Fordwich corporation, with its liberty and privileges, was abolished in the local government reorganisation of 1886.

However, the chairman of the Council is styled the Mayor, and on ceremonial occasions wears a chain of office as well as other mayoral accoutrements. By custom the Mayor also serves as Mayor Deputy to the Mayor of Sandwich, thus preserving the historic Cinque Ports link.

Fordwich Town Council meets once a month, except in August and December, generally on the last Wednesday of the month.

Meetings are usually held in the historic Town Hall, built in 1544. On occasions meetings may take place in other locations, such as the Old School House

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