Southend Council employee’s extension plan rejected

A council employee has come under fire after a series of building works at a Southend address created “ill-feeling” and “outrage” among neighbours.

Southend Council has thrown out the latest plans to extend a home in Prittlewell Chase.

A meeting heard an additional bungalow in its back garden had been built without permission but was subsequently given retrospective permission.

Because the applicant is employed by the council, the retrospective permission should have been decided by councillors, but was not.

The property has been the subject of a number of applications and a previous scheme for an additional side and rear extension was earlier refused by planning officers because of over development.

Councillors on the development control committee heard a complaint had been made over the handling of the earlier applications and this is currently being considered.

The latest part one-storey and part two-storey application had been revised and had been recommended for approval, but councillors did not agree.

David Garston, Conservative councillor for Prittlewell ward, said the application “has caused outrage among neighbouring properties”.

He said: “I was first alerted to what was going on at 237 Prittlewell Chase a fair while ago now when the large building was being built in the rear garden without planning permission and eventually got retrospective planning permission.

“There is an awful lot of ill-feeling in this part of our ward because basically from a lovely family home, and there are lovely family homes there, they didn’t like this extra building been put in the rear garden at all.

“I understand that the applicant wanted it for a relative. One understands that, but nevertheless, the feeling is that it’s just more on top of more. You couldn’t get much more on this particular site.”

Mr Garston added: “I’ve been down there several times and have stood on the other side of Eastbourne Grove and it is quite obvious to me that this proposal will cause overlooking. The site is going to be so packed with this. I feel that they don’t need this extension.”

Residents raised a number of objections, including overlooking, detriment to the area and loss of value of neighbouring properties.

On Wednesday, councillors voted 13 to three to refuse the application.


Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter