Garrison homeowners may have to tear out new windows

The owner of a plush house next to a conservation area may have to tear out new windows which were installed without planning permission.

The house in Gunners Rise, within the Shoebury Garrison area, is one of 97 similarly designed homes constructed as part of the Gunnery Hill development.

The site is adjacent to Shoebury Garrison Conservation Area and has sweeping views over the Thames Estuary and a nature reserve.

Original timber sash windows and timber doors designed to be in keeping with the garrison development have been removed and replaced with white aluminium frame windows and a bi-fold window to the rear of the property.

A planning statement said the windows were installed to allow for better protection and “mitigation against continual maintenance work”.

However, Martin Berry, Labour councillor for St Luke’s ward, said: “The site being close to the estuary caused damage to the fenestration and these windows were installed for better protection and mitigation against maintenance work but the other properties seem to have managed so I don’t think it’s that much mitigation.”

Ian Shead, Independent councillor for Southchurch ward, said: “We seem to be going for the owner of this property under the conservation area aspect of it when he’s not in the conservation area. I’m just wondering if we are over-stepping our mark a bit.”

Councillors heard officers had to consider the harm to the neighbouring conservation area and retrospective planning permission was refused by the committee at a meeting last week.

Another retrospective application for replacement windows in the Leas Conservation Area was also refused.

UPVC windows were installed at 16 and 16a The Leas in Chalkwell without planning permission but before the conservation designation.

However, councillors heard the work had been non-compliant at the time the conservation came in.

Maxine Sadza, Labour councillor for Milton ward, said the windows were replaced by the applicant’s father in 2020 prior to the creation of the conservation area.

She added: “His father was not aware at the time this was going to be a conservation area and he was not aware at the time they were the wrong kind of windows.”

However, councillors voted against the application.

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter