Landmark Leigh home to make way for flats

A landmark home in Leigh is to be demolished and replaced with flats after plans were given the green light despite the designs being branded “ugly”.

Southend City Council has signed off plans to knock down 135 Marine Parade, at the junction with Thames Drive, after a series of plans had been rejected in recent years.

The prominent site, overlooking Belton Hills, will now be replaced with four, two bedroom flats with eight parking spaces at the rear.

Previous plans to replace the home with a three-storey block of seven flats were rejected by Southend Council and by the Government planning inspectorate at appeal.

Despite the plan, by Paul Miller and Peter Hills, being approved not all councillors were impressed.

Speaking at the committee meeting on Wednesday, David Garston, Conservative councillor for Prittlewell Ward: said: “Looking at the photograph that we’ve got I feel it’s much uglier than what is being replaced.

“What we’ve got to look at is a building that’s going to be there for the next hundred years and I think the picture we are looking at is quite ugly.”

However, Martin Berry, Labour councillor for St Luke’s Ward, said: “I think it’s a shame that that lovely old building is going to get demolished although I don’t think the proposed new one is ugly. I think it looks quite good.”

Cllr Berry told councillors the original house was built by Eric Cole who went on to establish the EKCO factory in Priory Crescent which manufactured radios.

He called for the developer to display a commemorative plaque on the new building.
Laurie Burton, Labour councillor for Blenheim Park Ward, added: “It’s a big house but it doesn’t look particularly nice.

“I like the new proposal. Further down the road there are other similar properties in that newer style and I think rather than have a big house past its best having that newer building will bring something to the area.”

The width of the new building has decreased, the height reduced and the front of the building has been moved back by one metre but the depth of and the proportions of the roof have increased.

The council received 28 letters of representation. Residents who lodged objections include those who thought the proposal was an overdevelopment of the site.

Advertisement

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter