Application for new flats in former Thorpe Bay bank refused

Plans to turn a former Thorpe Bay bank into nine flats including a penthouse apartment have been refused after planners branded it “crudely designed”.

Southend Council planning officers said the bid to build two extra storeys onto the three storey former Lloyds Bank in The Broadway at the junction with Fermoy Road, was over development.

The bank closed 10 years ago and was converted into a dental surgery.

Applicant Matthew Gawley applied for approval to build a two-storey, flat-roofed “box” extension and to build a part-three, part-four storey side and rear extension with an under croft for two car parking spaces.

The plans include turning the existing first and second floor flats into eight self-contained flats with balconies, together with the penthouse apartment proposed in the flat roofed extension.

The council received 29 objections to the proposal with residents worried that it would overlook neighbouring homes and devalue properties.

Thorpe Bay Residents’ Association also objected saying the scheme was an “overdevelopment of the site” and concerns over parking pressures and that it could set a precedent.

The Burges Estate Residents’ Association also objected.

Chairman Ron Woodley said: “As an association we objected to it and it has been refused because of that.

“The Government allows putting extra storeys on roofs of flats under permitted development but this was a wholesale change. It really was over development in the wrong area with a lack of parking and storage space. We’re pleased that planners have taken all that into consideration and refused this

Refusing the application, planning officers said: “Notwithstanding the design of the extension itself, the loss of the existing roof, including all the decorative eaves and feature gable will have a significant and detrimental impact on the character of the existing building and that of the wider streetscene.

“This will result in significant harm to local character. This harm is exacerbated by the proposed alteration to the main frontage to introduce two modern Juliette balconies.”

They added: “The proposal itself is crude in its design. Whilst the option of a modern extension is not objected to in principle and in moderation, the proposed design has no positive correlation with the existing building and will just appear as an overt clash of styles, causing significant harm to the character of the existing building and the wider streetscene.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter