“Missed opportunity” for Southend’s Hamlet Court Road conservation area bid

A bid to protect Southend’s “second High Street” with conservation area status has been sent back to the drawing board.

Councillors referred the plans for Hamlet Court Road back for further discussion on Tuesday fearing it was a “missed opportunity” to preserve the whole road.

Under the plan, buildings of architectural and historic value in the north part of Hamlet Court Road from London Road would be protected as a conservation area. Those is in the south side and all its side roads would not be included.

Councillors heard 54 per cent of those responding to a consultation supported the wider conservation area.

Alex Bright, Conservative councillor for Southchurch ward, said: “I feel that we really only have one shot at making this road a conservation area.

“It’s clear that some of the key stake holders, particularly the Hamlet Court Conservation forum and other residents who are very much vested in this issue, have made representation calling for the wider boundary area, calling for the whole of Hamlet Court Road and some of the roads coming off it to be included.

“I worry we are going to create a bit of a divide on one side of the road.”

Kevin Buck, Conservative councillor for Prittlewell ward agreed.

He said: “The public consultation was in favour of expanding the proposed area because it didn’t include the bottom end of Hamlet Court Road.

“Some of the buildings in that area not included in the designated area do qualify for the same status so it’s really unclear to me why we’re not including it. We’re going to miss an opportunity here.”

Carole Mulroney, councillor responsible for the environment, culture, tourism and planning said Historic England had backed the scheme.

She added: “No further information has come forward in that respect and therefore the status is as it was previously that the recommendation is that area is not of sufficient merit to warrant conservation area status.”

Cllr Bright called for the matter to be referred to cabinet but this was cancelled out by Westborough ward Labour councillor Aston Line who called for to be discussed further.


Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter