Southend resident must tear down chimney after councillor calls it “ugliest thing I’ve ever seen”

The owner of an outbuilding in Southend has been ordered to pull down a chimney attached to an outbuilding following a tirade from councillors who branded it “ugly”, “imposing” and compared it to a steel works factory.

The plans for an outbuilding chimney at the rear of a property on Thorpe Hall Avenue in Thorpe Bay were sent to the council retrospectively and planning officers had recommended planning permission is granted.

But when the plans came before a Development Control Committee on Wednesday, councillors were not convinced.

They questioned its impact on the environment, slammed its appearance and eventually voted in favour of telling the owner to tear it down.

Conservative Councillor David Garston said: “Seriously this is one of the ugliest things I have ever seen, and I describe it as being akin to a mobile phone mast.

“I always look at these things and wonder what it would be like if it was in the back of my place and I wouldn’t want it.”

Liberal Democrat Cllr Carole Mulroney also objected to it.

She said: “I looked at the plans and thought oh my goodness what is this. If I didn’t know that was in a garden, that would almost look like an industrial building – that’s probably going too far – but from what I understand from members that were at a site visit this morning, I understand it is black and it is 4.7 metres high.

“I feel aesthetically in a residential area it is totally inappropriate.”

Cllr Matt Dent (LAB) called it “big and imposing” and said it reminds him of the steel works in Scunthorpe.

In planning documents, council officers acknowledge that the chimney is of “limited architectural value” but say the design is not uncommon following the installation of a log burner.
They note that it is “not bulky or over-dominant” and it is not considered to be intrusive.

Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter