Crowstone Conservation Area

The Crowstone Conservation Area was designated in 1990 and consists of

  • Crowstone House
  • 7 Chalkwell Esplanade
  • Hamilton Grange
  • 30 to 34 (consec.) The Leas

The History of Crowstone Conservation Area

As Southend expanded westwards, Westcliff developed as a new residential seaside resort. Westcliff-on-Sea Station was subsidised by local developers and opened in 1895. Over the next twenty years the area between the railway and the seafront was developed, mainly with new houses and visitor accommodation. The Leas Conservation Area includes the most prominent part of this development facing and close to the seafront but Crowstone Conservation Area, which is separated from The Leas by modern development, also has a similar character. Despite some subsequent redevelopment and alterations, the area retains character of the original residential resort.

Crowstone House, the most prominent building in the conservation area was built in 1905 as a house but it was subsequently extended and converted to a ladies school by a Miss O'Meara in 1913. It is now a care home.

Crowstone's Special Interest

Crowstone House with its prominent turret at the corner of Crowstone Avenue and Chalkwell Esplanade, is a fine example of Edwardian architecture and makes an important contribution to the historic townscape of the seafront. In 2008 the Council refused an application for the demolition and redevelopment of this building and this was upheld at appeal (ref APP/D1590/A/2110678) where the Planning Inspector recognised the building as having 'considerable character and local importance'. Crowstone House has been designated a Locally Listed Building.

Crowstone House and 7 Chalkwell Esplanade particularly show characteristics typical of the rapid expansion of Southend during the late Victorian and Edwardian period – including red brickwork, half timbering on rough cast render, slate roofs, asymmetrical form, corner turrets, decorative gables, bay windows, grand entrances and white ornamentation.

30-32 The Leas were destroyed by fire and now comprise a vacant plot within the Conservation Area, however planning permission was granted for 9 flats (ref 20/00737/FUL) and the decision recognised the importance of the site's location within the Conservation Area, particularly in terms of materials and detailing, ensuring these safeguard the visual amenities of the Conservation Area. The remaining historic buildings provide the setting for this building and the link to The Leas Conservation Area nearby to the east.

The Conservation Area is situated on a low-lying stretch of shoreline, at the bottom of a long, gentle incline on the edge of the northern shore of the Thames Estuary. Expansive views to the south are dominated by sea and sky, with distant views of the south shore of the estuary.

Development in the Conservation Area

All development in the Conservation Area including alterations such as changing windows and roofing materials should follow guidance set out in the Design and Townscape Guide in particular Section 9 Historic Buildings.

It is always advisable to check with the Council if planning permission is needed before undertaking any works to the exterior of a property in the conservation area.

Article 4 Direction

The Conservation Area Appraisal for Crowstone (adopted November 2023), makes a recommendation to provide an Article 4 direction for this area.


We are currently consulting on a proposed Article 4 Direction for the Conservation Area, details of which are provided below.

Direction made under Article 4 (1) at: Crowstone House and 7 Chalkwell Esplanade, Westcliff-on-Sea

Southend-on-Sea City Council is making a Direction under Article 4(1) to restrict the following permitted development rights:

All Buildings:

  • the demolition in whole or in part, of a building.
  • painting over facing brickwork of any part of a building which fronts a highway.
  • alteration, demolition or construction of a means of enclosure which fronts a highway (including walls, gates and fences).

Development within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse:

  • rendering of any brickwork which fronts a highway.
  • alteration of any window or door which fronts a highway.
  • re-roofing with different materials.
  • installation of hardstanding for vehicles.
  • removal or alteration of a chimney.
  • installation of a porch.


A copy of the Crowstone Conservation Area Article 4 Direction can be viewed online.


Anyone wishing to make a representation can do so via:

Postal address:

Director of Growth and Planning (Environment and Place), c/o Planning Policy, PO. Box 5557, Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend on Sea, SS2 6ZF

Representations must:

  • be made by 1 March 2024, and
  • quote the reference: Crowstone/CA/A4

A copy of the Article 4 Direction and associated boundary map will also be available to view during the consultation period at Civic Centre (reception), Southend City Council, Victoria Avenue, Southend, SS2 6ER.

Following this period of consultation, until 1st March 2024, it is anticipated that the Article 4 Direction will be confirmed on 16th March 2024.

For general enquiries, telephone (01702) 215004 or email Planning Policy.

Further Information

Crowstone Conservation Area Appraisal (see page 4 for map)

Go to top