Safeguarding Southend’s Heritage

Published Wednesday, 12th June 2019

View of Old Leigh seafront

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has appointed heritage experts, Purcell, to review and update the Conservation Area Appraisals for a number of the town’s Conservation Areas.

Southend has 14 conservation areas, which are designated for their special architectural and historic interest. Their designation means there are additional planning controls and considerations in place to protect the historic and architectural elements which make them special. Conservation Area Appraisals are a key tool in the decision-making process. They set out the special qualities that are locally distinctive to each area that should be conserved and enhanced. These appraisals will be used to guide decisions on planning applications in order to protect each conservation area’s unique heritage.

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Conservation areas are special places and it is important that communities are involved in their protection. There will be public consultation events held as part of Purcell’s review so that local people can share their views about what is important to conserve and safeguard in their neighbourhoods.”

The conservation areas range in size and special interest. Amongst the largest is Shoebury Garrison, which comprises the converted former military garrison buildings, while Eastern Esplanade conservation area is formed of a row of small fishermen’s cottages. The elegant terraces of Clifftown typify a Regency seaside resort whilst the narrow main street of Leigh Old Town evidences the marine activities of boat building, fishing and cockle processing that predated the tourist boom and which continue today.

As well as updating the existing appraisals, Purcell will be producing appraisals for those of Southend’s 14 Conservation Areas which do not yet have appraisals and considering if any new areas in the Borough warrant a Conservation Area Designation.