Agenda item

To report to Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee the Brightlingsea Hall and All Saints Church Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan prepared for the Council by Essex Place Services, and for the Committee to agree a recommendation to Cabinet that this be published for consultation.


The Committee considered a comprehensive report of the Director (Planning) (A.4) which reported to it the Brightlingsea Hall and All Saints Church Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan prepared for the Council by Essex Place Services, and requested that the Committee agreed a recommendation to Cabinet that it be published for consultation purposes.


Alterations to Boundaries


The boundary currently included the listed church, its surrounding churchyard, and the Hall with historic barn complex which was now occupied by businesses.


It was proposed that the area be extended to include the pair of early nineteenth century dwellings to the south of the area. They contributed positively to the historic character and appearance of the area. Their location and proximity to the road created a sense of a gateway for the Conservation Area. They were prominent in views towards the Church to the north-west. The building was red brick with details such as the flat headed arches at ground floor level, and single polychromatic diamond above the original central entrance. The simple but decorative detail added to the quality and character of the building and Conservation Area. Although some changes had occurred, such as the loss of original windows and roofing, and timber lean to extensions on both sides, the building still made a positive contribution. It was considered, therefore, that the Conservation Area and building would both benefit from inclusion within the boundary.


Designated Heritage Assets


There was one designated heritage asset within the Brightlingsea Hall and All Saints Church Conservation Area, the Grade I Listed Church of All Saints (List UID: 1337182).


This building had been listed due to its special architectural and historic interest under Section 1 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.


Proposed non-designated heritage assets


Local listing was an important tool for local planning authorities to identify non-listed buildings and heritage assets which made a positive contribution to the locality. This Appraisal had identified heritage assets, which made a positive contribution to the Conservation Area and could be considered for local listing in the future. This list was not exhaustive, and further buildings could be identified as non-designated heritage assets through the planning application process. Buildings and features within the Conservation Area which were considered to be non-designated heritage assets included:


·      Brightlingsea Hall

·      All Saints Church Lych-gate


Heritage at Risk


The Grade I Church of All Saints was included on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register, as being in a ‘very bad’ condition and at immediate risk of further rapid deterioration or loss of fabric, with no solution agreed. As a key, landmark building of the Conservation Area, it was important that a solution was agreed to work towards taking this building off the register.




Throughout the Conservation Area there was the potential for a multitude of below-ground heritage assets yet to be discovered. In general, the appraisal promoted a cautious approach to development which might disturb or destroy those assets.


Assessment of significance


A detailed assessment of significance of the Conservation Area had considered the following features:


·      Layout

·      Building materials and boundary treatments

·      Listed buildings and non-designated heritage assets

·      Other buildings

·      Landscaping and open spaces

·      Views


Opportunities for Enhancement


This identified the issues facing the Conservation Area. A large number of the issues were common to all Conservation Areas throughout the District, but where they were unique, that was highlighted as follows:-


·      the Conservation Area could use better interpretation to complement that already in place within the Church building.

·      on-street parking detracted from the historic character of the Conservation Area.

·      the Conservation Area suffered from the loss of, or inappropriate use of, architectural detailing such as UPVC windows and doors, rainwater goods and external paintwork.

·      the public realm and green spaces could be better utilised.


Management Proposals


As outlined above, there were a wide range of issues facing this Conservation Area, many of which shared common themes with other Conservation Areas previously seen by the Committee. This section recommended management proposals, which addressed those issues in both the short and long term such as:-


·           the preparation a Local Heritage List of non-designated heritage assets was suggested for this Conservation Area.

·           the Council was encouraged to use its enforcement powers to prevent inappropriate development.

·           the monitoring of trees and additions to tree planting within public open space was recommended.

·           publishing guidance for homeowners and businesses in Conservation Areas could help owners identify appropriate alterations to their properties within Conservation Areas.

·           the timely renewal of these Conservation Area Appraisals could help to monitor change within the Conservation Areas more accurately.

·           further interpretation could help with legibility.


Funding Opportunities


·      Heritage Lottery Fund

·      Section 106 Agreements

·      Partnership Schemes in Conservation Areas


Having considered and discussed all of the information and advice contained in the Officer report and its appendices:-


It was moved by Councillor Chapman BEM, seconded by Councillor Allenand:-


RESOLVED that the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee:


a)     endorses the new Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan for Brightlingsea Hall and All Saints Church (Appendix 1 to item A.4 of the Report of the Director (Planning));


b)     recommends to Cabinet that the above document be published for consultation with the public and other interested parties; and


c)      notes that Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans for the District’s remaining Conservation Areas will be brought before the Committee in due course and before the new financial year.

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