Development Management Development Plan (DPD)

Ended on the 9 August 2010
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Section 4: Design and Townscape

Issue DM1 – Design of Developments

Issue

Located within the South Essex Thames Gateway growth area and one of the region’s most popular tourist destinations, the Council has an opportunity to require high quality design that respects and enhances Southend-on-Sea’s local distinctiveness. The Council therefore considers that good design should be at the forefront of all planning applications and is an important element in creating successful places which in turn can assist in making the borough a more attractive, healthier and environmentally sustainable place in which to live, work and visit.

The Council will consider design issues in a an holistic manner to ensure that buildings, places, public realm and movement patterns work together to produce attractive, distinctive and safe areas which contribute to healthy lifestyles and take account of the Council’s strategic objectives.

Context

Promoting good design will help to realise a number of the key objectives and policies within the Core Strategy and the creation of high quality, sustainable places. In any development, consideration needs to be given to the characteristics and context of the surrounding area in determining the appropriate design approach. Good quality design is important both in terms of reinforcing distinctive characteristics and qualities and contributing towards successful and sustainable place making.

The second edition of SPD1 (Design and Townscape Guide) was adopted by the Council in 2009 and provides detailed design advice for achieving good quality development within the borough. It should be considered alongside the future adopted Development Management DPD policies, as well as the adopted Core Strategy policies. The SPD provides further guidance for planning applicants in recognising the sensitivity of their site context and surroundings, in realising the development potential of individual sites and in contributing to the revival of civic pride and a sense of place for the borough.

In order to support existing and emerging planning policy and guidance, the Council has commissioned a ‘Southend-on-Sea Borough Wide Character Study’ which is scheduled for completion in 2010. This document will provide a detailed understanding of the borough’s urban character, which will be used as an information guide when determining planning applications and will inform planning policy including the submission version of the Development Management DPD.

The South Essex Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) sets out a quantitative approach to density. This document suggests that a density of at least 60 dwellings per hectare is appropriate within urban locations of South Essex with high public transport accessibility and access to services such as town centres. The Council considers that these figures provide a good indicative approach. However, the Council considers that density should be a product of design which will determine the capacity of the site. The Council will also seek to ensure that development can be supported by existing services such as public transport, local shops, healthcare and schools with a focus on contributing to liveable and inclusive sustainable neighbourhoods.

The Council recognises that good urban design requires a 'partnership' approach between the Council, applicants and the local community. As such, the Council will encourage applicants to engage in pre-application discussions with the Local Planning Authority and where appropriate the local community. They can benefit both applicants and the Council in ensuring a better mutual understanding of the proposals and defining the scope of drawings and reports to be submitted with the planning application.

Design of Developments – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
For development to be of a high quality design standard that incorporates sustainable materials and detailing to maintain and create an attractive urban and natural environment which is sustainable, safe, people friendly and distinctive and contributes to the creation of successful and sustainable places.

The Council seeks to successfully integrate development into the existing built fabric by ensuring a satisfactory relationship with their surroundings in respect to the pattern and arrangement of development blocks, streets, density, form, scale, massing, height, elevational design and materials as it is the interrelationship between all these elements, rather than their individual characteristics that bond together to make a successful place.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Ensuring that development is based on a thorough and objective understanding of the surrounding context and character of the area. In particular, the Council takes the view that development proposals should demonstrate how they will take account of and where appropriate, enhance the following:

  1. Location and links to the wider area;
  2. Historic development and local vernacular;
  3. Urban grain and morphology;
  4. Public and private spaces and enclosure;
  5. Uniformity and rhythm of buildings, where appropriate;
  6. Topography, natural and built landmarks, views and skyline;
  7. Natural environment and trees;
  8. Streetscape and public realm;
  9. Function and uses throughout the day and night; and
  10. Levels of activity.

2. Ensuring that development respects the relationship with its neighbours. Developments would be required to be designed to allow for adequate privacy and outlook for adjoining properties and also ensure that there is no unreasonable overshadowing. Developments should also not result in excessive noise, activity or vehicle movements to the detriment of its neighbours.

3. Ensuring that development provides a layout that takes account of the potential users of the site including giving priority to pedestrian, cycling and public transport access and provision for disabled people and those with restricted mobility.

4. Ensuring that the density of development will be design-led and will seek to optimise the use of land in a manner that is compatible with the local context, taking into consideration the intensity, scale, character of the surrounding area, available amenity space together with local infrastructure and transport capacity. Development proposals that result in an excessive density or intensity of development that would lead to a poor quality of life for existing and future occupants of the local area will be refused. A higher density will be considered at strategic locations identified within the AAPs.

5. Ensuring that all developments are designed to provide a safe and secure environment which reduces opportunities for crime and the fear of crime throughout the day and night. The Council considers that particular regard should be given to the ‘Secure by Design’ principles.

6. Requiring all development to demonstrate strong, quality design and sustainable standards that incorporates the use of high quality materials and finishes in order to maintain and create an attractive and distinctive local and urban environment.

7. Encouraging pre-application discussions with the Council for all potential development proposals to agree the level of detail for the planning application and to agree an appropriate design approach. The Council’s pre-application approach will be proportionate to the nature of the proposal.

8. Ensuring that the design principles set out in the Design and Townscape Guide SPD are followed.

Design of Developments – Alternative Options

1. Adopt an approach that allows moderate quality design where it meets other objectives within the LDF.

This approach does not meet national design policy set out in PPS1 and PPS3 and would result in a poor quality built environment that undermines the objectives for the South Essex Thames Gateway as set out in the East of England Plan.

2. Rely upon national and regional policy and existing policies within the adopted Core Strategy.

National and regional policy requires a local approach to design to reflect the character of the surrounding area.

3. Adopt the principles set out in Essex Design Guide.

The Essex Design Guide generally reflects the design characteristics of rural Essex and the County’s market towns and does not reflect the more intensive urban characteristics of Southend-on-Sea.

4. Set numerical density requirements.

It is considered that it is inappropriate to set numerical density figures as this could affect and detrimentally impact upon the quality of design by imposing rigid requirements that may be inappropriate on a site by site basis. It is considered that a flexible approach is required that is design-led and takes account of the capacity of the site and surrounding areas and ability to absorb development.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy ENV7: Quality in the Built Environment
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 14
Policy KP2: Development Principles
Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy C8: Advertisements
Policy C11: New Buildings, Extensions and Alterations
Policy C13: Street Furniture
Policy H5: Residential design and Layout Considerations
Policy H6: Protecting Residential Character (first alteration)
Policy H12: Environmental Improvement of Residential Areas
Policy U9: Child Minding Facilities
Policy U10: Provision of Other Community Facilities

Issue DM1: Questions

(14) 5. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(3) 6. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(8) 7. Are there any other approaches to implementing high quality design in new developments that should be considered by the Council?

Issue DM2 – Tall Buildings

Issue
A well sited and well designed tall building can bring many advantages to Southend-on-Sea such as a contribution to regeneration, helping to create a positive image for the borough, provide a landmark and enable an efficient use of land. Southend-on-Sea does however command an important location set on the cliffs and foreshore overlooking the River Thames and its mouth to the North Sea. The Council considers that any proposals for tall buildings in Southend-on-Sea will have to consider its siting in respect to the wider setting of Southend-on-Sea and impact upon the local context.

Context
Tall and large buildings are those that are noticeably taller than their surroundings and have a significant impact on the skyline. They have the potential to form part of a strategic approach to meeting the regeneration and economic development objectives set out in the Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy DPD and Central Area AAP.

Southend-on-Sea is broadly characterised by 1 to 4 storey dwellings with some pockets of taller buildings, particularly in the central areas. The Southend-on-Sea Character Study will set out the areas in which tall buildings are already present and will consider their relationship to the streetscene. It will also be clear from the findings of the Southend-on-Sea Character Study the areas where the introduction of tall buildings will have an unacceptable impact upon the character of the area. Tall buildings will therefore be resisted in areas where they would have a significant detrimental impact on local character.

The Council’s ambition is for ‘excellence’ for the design of tall buildings. As such it is considered that tall buildings should always be of the very highest architectural quality and should not have a negative impact on the amenity of surrounding uses. The location of a tall building, its alignment, spacing, height, bulk, massing and design quality should identify with and emphasise a point of civic or visual significance over the whole area from which it will be visible. This will improve the legibility of the area and ensure that tall buildings are attractive and contribute positively to the image and built environment of Southend-on-Sea.

Tall Buildings – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
Tall and large buildings should be part of a strategic approach to changing strategic locations in Southend-on-Sea and should not have an unacceptably harmful impact on their surroundings.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Ensuring that tall buildings would only be permitted in the sites/areas identified in the Area Action Plans. Applications for tall or large buildings should include an urban design analysis that demonstrates the proposal is part of a strategy that would meet the following requirements:

Tall and large buildings should:

  1. Only be considered in areas whose character and appearance would not be harmed by the scale, mass or bulk of a tall or large building;
  2. Relate well to the form, proportion, composition, scale and character of surrounding buildings, urban grain and public realm (including landscape features), particularly at street level;
  3. Individually or as a group, form a distinctive landmark that emphasises a point of civic; or visual significance, and enhances the skyline and image of Southend-on-Sea;
  4. Incorporate the highest standards of architecture and materials;
  5. Have ground floor activities that provide a positive relationship to the surrounding streets; and
  6. Make a significant contribution to local regeneration.

Tall buildings should not:

  1. Adversely affect their surroundings in terms of character, microclimate, wind turbulence, overshadowing, noise, reflected glare, aviation, navigation and telecommunication interference;
  2. Impact adversely on local views that make an important contribution to the character of the area;
  3. Adversely impact upon London Southend Airport; or
  4. Be encouraged in areas that would be sensitive to their impact. Such areas might include historical settings and the edge of the Green Belt.

Tall Buildings – Alternative Options

1. Allow tall buildings across the borough irrespective of location.

It is considered that this approach could potentially detrimentally change the character of the borough and result in unsustainable development. It is considered that tall buildings should be managed to ensure that they are located in the right places.

2. Resist all tall buildings.

It is considered that in the right places, tall buildings can have a positive impact both physically in terms of the streetscene and socially where new homes and jobs are created and where community facilities are provided.

3. Provide different criteria of the acceptable and unacceptable impacts of a tall building.

The suggested criteria are based upon CABE guidance and are considered suitable within a Southend-on-Sea context.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy ENV7: Quality in the Built Environment
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 14
Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy
Policy KP2: Development Principles
Policy KP3: Implementation and Resources
Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

n/a

Issue DM2: Questions

(8) 8. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(3) 9. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(2) 10. Do you consider that there is a need to define a tall building in terms of number of storeys?
(5) 11. Are there any other issues relating to tall buildings that the Council should consider?

Issue DM3 – Intensification of Existing Residential Sites and Areas

Issue
There has been considerable pressure for the intensification of existing sites and buildings in Southend on Sea in recent years. Such sites make an important contribution to housing delivery in the borough however there is a need to carefully manage the development of these sites to ensure that the design is of a high quality and that the quality of life of existing and future residents is not detrimentally affected by such developments. Furthermore there is concern that backland, infill developments (often referred to ‘garden grabbing’) and conversion of existing buildings could sometimes result in the loss of Southend-on-Sea’s individuality.

Context
The development of suitable plots of land situated to the rear of existing properties has made a useful contribution to the dwelling stock whilst also making optimum use of a limited land resource in the borough. However, because it is usually adjacent to existing residential properties, such development should only be permitted where it can provide a satisfactory layout and road access without adversely affecting local amenities and the character of the area.

The LDF Annual Monitoring Report 2009 clearly indicated that much of the Council’s housing provision is being met through such renewal and intensification across the borough which was expected and its role in meeting the housing provision was included within the Core Strategy spatial distribution of housing growth (Policy CP8). However, the Spatial Strategy also envisaged that this would and should diminish over time as more rigorous Development Management Policies are adopted to discourage inappropriate intensification (especially what is known as ‘garden grabbing’) and Area Action Plans are adopted to assist focussing more appropriate regeneration and growth in Town Centre/Central Area and Shoeburyness.

The importance of local context and of protecting neighbour amenity applies particularly to infill and backland development, where sites can be very difficult to develop satisfactorily and can raise a number of issues, including cumulative impacts resulting from loss of garden space such as impacts on climate change, biodiversity and surface water flooding.

The Design and Townscape Guide SPD (2009) provides further detail on how backland development could be successfully achieved in Southend-on-Sea. The Southend-on-Sea Character Study will provide assessments of character which will indicate areas within Southend-on-Sea where backland development may be acceptable and areas where such developments would need to be a constrained to prevent the loss of an areas character and identity.

The conversion of existing single dwellings into self-contained flats has been a common trend for the last 20 years. This has led to Southend-on-Sea’s housing market offering above average private renting and a high proportion of 1-bed and 2-bed flatted accommodation when compared against other districts within the South Essex Thames Gateway area. This level of housing supply reflects the household formation in Southend-on-Sea which consists of a particularly high proportion of single person households at 35% of all households. The conversion of single dwellings has resulted in a number of conflicts within Southend-on-Sea which includes the loss of family accommodation and the residential amenity issues associated with the intensification of the existing dwelling.

With regard to residential amenity, the trend within Southend-on-Sea has been for the conversion of single dwellings into self-contained flats with sub-standard housing accommodation. Other issues that are prevalent within Southend-on-Sea include increased noise and activity levels to the detriment of neighbouring dwellings, increased on-street road parking and loss of usable private amenity space. The Council consequently seeks to ensure that any future conversions are of the highest possible quality and will contribute to improving the quality of life for the borough’s residents.

The South Essex SHMA indicates that there is a growing demand within the sub-region and in Southend-on-Sea for entry level family housing. As the supply of housing is restricted within Southend-on-Sea there is a growing need to protect family homes as the demand for this house type increases.

Intensification of Existing Residential Sites and Areas – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To consider planning applications for backland and infill development and redevelopment of existing sites on a site-by-site basis to ensure that such development does not detrimentally impact upon the living conditions of existing and future residents. Backland and infill development will be considered acceptable where it respects the individuality of places, achieves high quality design solutions and does not result in the over intensification of residential sites and areas.

To resist the conversion of existing single dwellings into two or more flats where it causes parking stress, harm to local amenity or causes harm to the character and appearance of the existing building and streetscene or creates an over concentration of flatted units within the street.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Ensuring that backland and infill development does not:

  1. Conflict with the character and grain of the local area;
  2. Result in the significant loss of usable garden space for existing residents and future occupiers;
  3. Result in an unreasonable impact on neighbourliness and amenity;
  4. Result in a significant increase in noise and disturbance from traffic gaining access to the site; and
  5. Result in the loss of significant local ecological value including wildlife habitats, trees or shrubs.

2. Only allowing the conversion of single dwellings into two or more dwellings where

  1. The proposed development does not adversely impact upon the living conditions of neighbouring uses;
  2. There is no harm to the character and appearance of the existing building or wider area;
  3. The proposed development meets the residential space standards set out in DM11;
  4. The proposed development meets Lifetime Homes Standards;
  5. The proposed development does not create or add to parking stress within a street; and
  6. The proposed development does not lead to or add to an over concentration of flatted dwellings to the detriment of the character and function of the street.

3. Protecting single storey dwellings (bungalows) from conversion or redevelopment where this is deemed to create an unacceptable juxtaposition within the streetscene that would harm the character and appearance of the area.

Intensification of Existing Residential Sites and Areas – Alternative Options

1. To allow all backland and infill development.

It is considered that this type of development can potentially have a negative impact character of the streetscene and the amenity of existing and future occupants of the site and surrounding area. This type of development should therefore be considered on a site by site basis.

2. To resist all backland and infill development.

It is considered that this approach will undermine housing delivery in the borough and therefore would not be in accordance with the East of England Plan.

3. To resist all proposals for the conversions of existing single dwellings.

It is considered that this approach provides an unreasonable restriction and that in certain circumstances conversions may be acceptable.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy ENV7: Quality in the Built Environment
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 14
Policy KP2: Development Principles
Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy H7: The Formation of Self-Contained Flats
Policy H10: Backland Development

Issue DM3: Questions

(12) 12. Do you agree with the suggested option?
13. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(1) 14. Should the Council set a numerical figure that prevents the conversion of dwellings below a given internal floor area as original constructed? The adopted Local Plan currently prevents the conversion of existing dwellings where the existing internal floor area is 125m2 or less.
(4) 15. Are there any other issues and options relating to the intensification of existing residential sites or areas that the Council should consider?

Issue DM4 – Low Carbon Development and Efficient Use of Resources

Issue
Climate change brought about by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases has been identified as the greatest challenge facing human society at the beginning of the 21st Century. The development sector provides an opportunity to develop low carbon buildings across Southend-on-Sea with a specific objective of reducing carbon emissions and seeking to reduce the borough’s contribution to national carbon emissions and climate change.

It is important that new buildings are constructed to very high standards of energy efficiency. This can be achieved through careful design measures that include: reducing the need for energy in developments; using energy more efficiently within buildings; and using renewable resources. It is considered that only if energy consumption in buildings is ambitiously tackled at both a local and national level can the Government’s emission reduction targets be met.

Context
Carbon emissions from existing and new buildings account for 70% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions. The 2009 World Energy Outlook (WEO) has emphasised that the potential rise in emissions by the end of the century could lead to an increase in global temperatures of up to 6°C. The WEO states that end-use efficiency is the largest contributor to potential carbon dioxide emissions reduction by 2030. In response to international concern regarding carbon emissions, the Government has set out ambitious targets to reduce a third of the UK’s carbon emissions from housing by 2050. To achieve this, the Government has made amendments to the Building Regulations that require all new homes to be built to a new zero-carbon standard by 2016 with this standard being met for non-residential development by 2019.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is a member of the Build with CaRe (Carbon Reduction) project (http://www.buildwithcare.eu). The project aims to mainstream low carbon and energy-efficient construction and is partially funded by the INTERREG IVB North Sea Region Programme. The Council is primarily involved in the planning and policy work package of the project and is acutely aware of the vital role that sound planning policies have to play in the mainstreaming of low carbon and energy efficient construction.

The incorporation of low carbon technologies into new developments can have an important knock-on effect in respect of developing supply chains for such technologies which will bring down the cost not just for new builds but also buildings refurbishments, an issue that has much greater impact on the potential for carbon reduction from the UK and the EU’s building stock. The CLG Zero Carbon Consultation December 2008 points out that developers, builders and their supply chains are in a position to drive innovation and economies of scale in energy efficiency and distributed energy technologies.

There are already some well-established, over-arching principles of low carbon design. These are set out in the RIBA Climate Change Toolkit and include the following:

  • Use the form and fabric of the building to minimise energy demand – This can result in minimisation of the demand on services such as heating and lighting. Low carbon buildings can exploit useful solar and internal heat gains (from people, equipment, etc.) to satisfy as much of the heat demand as possible, but exclude unwanted solar gains when they may lead to overheating.
  • Focus on insulation and air tightness - low carbon designs seek to reduce unwanted heat losses and gains.
  • Use high efficiency building services with low carbon fuels - The remaining energy demand should use fuels with low carbon dioxide emissions factors.
  • Manage energy within the building - low carbon design is not enough and low carbon operation is also needed by ensuring that appropriate metering and energy management systems are in place.
  • Use renewable energy systems - low carbon buildings use renewable energy systems to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the provision of heat and power within the building.

In addition development should improve existing or create new habitats or use to enhance biodiversity and provide for its on-going management. Design features such as green and brown roofs, living walls etc can enhance biodiversity, absorb rainfall, improve the performance of the building, reduce the urban heat island effect and improve the appearance of a development. However, the design and operational needs of a green roof should not place undue stress on water supply and other natural resources.

Design of Low Carbon Development and Efficient Use of Resources – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To secure effective and efficient sustainable development that minimises local contributions to, and the impact of, climate change, flood risk and the depletion of non-renewable resources. Development proposals will need to incorporate the principles of the following energy hierarchy:
figure 1

All development will be required to meet the highest possible environmental standards including being designed and built to minimise greenhouse gas emissions across its lifetime and incorporate low carbon technologies.

There will be a presumption that all development will meet at least Sustainable Code for Homes Level 4 for residential development and BREEAM rating ‘Excellent’ for non-residential development.Urban greening, such as new planting, green roofs and walls and soft landscaping will be promoted and supported as such measures will contribute to the adaptation to and mitigation of the effects of climate change.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Ensuring that all developments achieve a reduction in carbon emissions through the use of passive and energy efficient design measures.

2. Ensuring a minimum of 10% of the energy needs of all major and minor development will be met by on-site renewable options. Where an on-site renewable option is clearly demonstrated not to be practicable or feasible, then either

  1. An off-site renewable option located within the borough should be explored; or
  2. (ii) Measures will be incorporated into the new development that reduce the carbon emissions of the development to at least the equivalent energy efficiency measures required to meet Sustainable Code for Homes Level 5.

3. Ensuring a significant reduction in the consumption of potable water in the home from all sources, through the use of water efficient fittings, appliances and water recycling systems such as grey water and rainwater harvesting.

4. Ensuring that development proposals integrate green infrastructure from the beginning of the design process to contribute to urban greening. Urban greening includes, but is not limited to, tree planting, green roofs and living walls and soft landscaping.

5. Requiring all major development proposals to contribute towards making more efficient use or re-use of existing resources and reducing the lifecycle impact of materials used in construction. The recycling and re-use of aggregate and demolition waste on development sites would be encouraged. Where it is not possible to process and subsequently re-use the material within the site, it should be processed on-site before re-use at another site or for local land restoration.

6. Requiring the use of high quality materials from sustainable sources.

7. Requiring energy assessments to be submitted with all major planning applications to demonstrate how the proposed energy efficiency and renewable measures will reduce the expected energy demand and CO2 emissions.

For minor developments, the Design and Access Statement will need to demonstrate how the proposed energy efficiency and renewable measures will reduce the expected energy demand and CO2 emissions.

Design of Low Carbon Development and Efficient Use of Resources – Alternative Options

1. To rely on emerging national policy and changes to the building regulations.

The Government changes to building regulations will not come into effect until 2013 and therefore there is a need to have a local solution to developing low carbon technologies in the interim period.

2. To insist on a greater reduction of carbon from new developments.

Government policy states that there needs to be special justification to exceed national requirements. It is not considered that there is any special justification to exceed national requirements in Southend-on-Sea.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy ENV7: Quality in the Built Environment
  Policy ENG1: Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Energy Performance

Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008)

Strategic Objective 15
Policy KP2: Development Principles
Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

n/a

Issue DM4: Questions

(12) 16. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(1) 17. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(5) 18. Is the Council’s approach necessary given the emerging Government policy?
(3) 19. Should the Council seek to implement zero carbon developments before the Government’s changes to the building regulations in 2016?
(2) 20. Are there any areas of Southend-on-Sea where higher low carbon standards should be sought?
(3) 21. Should the Council seek to facilitate the delivery of decentralised energy networks within the specific areas within the borough?
(9) 22. Are there any other issues relating to low carbon development that the Council should consider?

Issue DM5 – Southend-on-Sea’s Historic Environment

Issue
Many remnants of the borough’s early development survive and provide Southend-on-Sea with a strong heritage of historic buildings and areas worthy of conservation. The Council considers it important to preserve and enhance those buildings and areas with a particular architectural or historic interest and to protect areas of archaeological importance.

Context
Southend-on-Sea comprises a number of former villages and small settlements, including the medieval villages of Prittlewell and Leigh, absorbed by the rapidly expanding town of Southend-on-Sea during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many features of these early developments remain, often contributing a quality of design and detailing that cannot easily be matched by modern development. Tangible economic benefits are also provided by these historic settlements in terms of their special attraction for tourism and leisure.

The statutory list for Southend-on-Sea was first published in 1974 and there are around 150 historic buildings and structures in the Borough included on it such as the War Memorial on Clifftown Parade and Porters on Southchurch Road, together with a number of other buildings scheduled on the Council’s Local List. These important assets are links to Southend-on-Sea’s past, which the Council will seek to ensure are preserved and enhanced to protect local heritage and promote a sense of place.

Additionally, the borough’s 14 conservation areas provide further examples of some Southend’s special architectural or historic interest. Examples of garden city movement inspired planning in Chapmanslord, Georgian and Victorian development in Clifftown, the military architecture of Shoebury Garrison, and some good examples of seaside architecture exist.

Additional planning controls have been applied to a number of the conservation areas in the Borough in the form of Article 4 Directions in order to ensure planning permission is normally only given if proposed development preserves or enhances character.

Concern for Southend-on-Sea’s heritage is not just about the visible historic buildings and areas but also what lies beneath. Archaeological remains provide an important irreplaceable record of our past and how the borough has developed. The borough has six archaeological sites designated as Scheduled Ancient Monuments and protected under the Ancient Monuments & Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Southend-on-Sea’s Historic Environment – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To preserve and enhance Southend-on-Sea’s built and landscape heritage, ensuring that it provides benefits to the borough’s economy, culture and quality of life.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Ensuring that development proposals affecting a conservation area, listed building or locally listed building should seek to preserve or enhance their historic character, setting and townscape value.

2. Resisting development proposals that will adversely affect a conservation area, listed building, locally listed building or important archaeological remains.

3. Preventing the total or substantial demolition of a listed building, locally listed building or a building within a conservation area, unless exceptional circumstances are shown that outweigh the case for retention.

4. Resisting development outside of a conservation area that causes harm to the character and appearance of that conservation area.

5. Ensuring that development proposals that impact upon the ‘frontages of townscape merit’ as identified within the Design and Townscape SPD, will be required to pay special regard to the preservation and restoration of features which contribute to the special character of their frontage and to the use of sympathetic materials and designs for all aspects including shopfronts.

6. Ensuring that the remains of archaeological importance are protected and recorded. Acceptable measures will be required to preserve them and their setting, including physical preservation, where appropriate.

7. Requiring Heritage Statements and/or Archaeological Evaluations for proposals related to or impacting on the setting of heritage assets and/or known or possible archaeological sites, so that sufficient information is provided to assess the impacts of development on historic environment assets together with any proposed mitigation measures.

8. Requiring a full planning application for all proposals affecting conservation areas, listed buildings and locally listed buildings.

Southend-on-Sea’s Historic Environment – Alternative Options

1. To not have a policy that considers the effects of development on the historic environment and instead use other design policies in the Development Management DPD and the Core Strategy DPD.

It is considered that the historic environment in Southend-on-Sea is particularly sensitive to development, requiring further scrutiny than development generally.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy ENV7: Quality in the Built Environment
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 14
Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy
Policy KP2: Development Principles
Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy C1: Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Site
Policy C2: Historic Buildings
Policy C3: Conversion of Historic Buildings
Policy C4: Conservation Areas
Policy C5: Leigh Old Town
Policy C6: Frontages of Townscape Merit

Issue DM5: Questions

(7) 23. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(1) 24. Do you consider the alternative option to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(5) 25. Are there other historical issues that the Council should consider?

Issue DM6 – Alterations and Additions to Existing Buildings

Issue
Alterations and additions to an existing building is a common way in Southend-on-Sea of adapting existing building stock to the changing needs of a household, business or other use. A significant number of buildings within the borough have the capacity to be extended in some form. A well designed and well integrated extension can complement and even enhance an existing property, whereas a poorly designed addition can easily destroy the original character and have a detrimental effect on the streetscene.

Context
The Council will require proposals for alterations and additions to existing buildings to respect the amenity of existing residential property, safeguard the character of Conservation Areas, historic buildings and important public vistas and where appropriate, contribute to and enhance public pedestrian areas and open spaces.

The adopted Design and Townscape Guide SPD provides detailed guidance on the types of alterations and additions to existing buildings and the key considerations that need to be taken into account when designing such developments. In this context, detailed design guidance is provided by the Council with regard to: rear extensions, side extensions, extensions incorporating garages, detached garages and other detached buildings, conversion of garages to habitable rooms, front extensions, porches, conservatories, balconies, roof extensions and dormer windows, additional storeys, and extensions to commercial developments.

Alterations and additions to existing buildings should be done so as not to damage existing character. Even what could be perceived as the most minor of changes, such as altering the window design, has the potential to cause a detrimental impact. In order to avoid this, key features and proportions should be retained where they are integral to the character of the building and locality.

Whether a proposed scheme seeks a modern or traditional alteration or addition, the simplest way to ensure that it does not conflict with the existing character of the property is to draw references from the parent building. The Council will therefore seek to ensure that all alterations and additions make a positive contribution to the existing property and surrounding streetscene, by integrating successfully with the parent building, being well designed and detailed.

Alterations and Additions to Existing Buildings – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To ensure that all alterations and additions make a positive contribution to the character of the existing building and the surrounding area.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Ensuring that the design, materials and detailing of the proposed alteration or addition draw reference from the parent building and ensure successful integration with it. Where alternative materials and detailing are proposed it will need to be demonstrated that such an approach will not detrimentally affect the character of the parent building or surrounding area.

2. Ensuring that the scale of the extension and alterations are respectful of the scale of the parent building and surrounding area.

3. Ensuring that the design principles set out in the Design and Townscape Guide SPD are followed.

Alterations and Additions to Existing Buildings – Alternative Options

1. To not have a policy and rely upon general design policy.

It is considered that alterations and additions to existing buildings require an additional design policy layer to ensure that the design takes account of the parent building.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy ENV7: Quality in the Built Environment
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 14
Policy KP2: Development Principles
Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy C11: New Buildings, Extensions and Alterations

DM6: Questions

(5) 26. Do you agree with the suggested option?
27. Do you consider the alternative option to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(4) 28. Are there any other issues relating to alterations and additions to buildings that the Council should consider?
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