Development Management - Proposed Submission

Ended on the 29 April 2011

Section 2: Design and Townscape

Policy DM1 – Design Quality

2.1 The Borough Council will apply an approach to development that seeks high to achieve quality design that contributes positively to the local distinctiveness and characteristics of areas within Southend-on-Sea. High quality design is essential to maintain and create successful and sustainable places that are safe, attractive, and distinctive and where people will want to live, work, visit and enjoy. It is therefore necessary that high quality design is at the forefront of all planning applications.

2.2 The Design and Townscape Guide SPD (second edition) was adopted by the Borough Council in 2009 and provides detailed design advice for achieving high quality development within the Borough. The aim of the Design and Townscape Guide SPD is to provide a practical basis for achieving high quality design in the Borough, assisting the Borough Council in rejecting poor quality development. It is essential that applicants recognise the importance of, and adhere to, these objectives and principles of this SPD in respect of all development.

Context and Sense of Place

2.3 Within the context of existing neighbourhoods a primary concern will be how new developments reflect the local character and scale of the area. To ensure that new development is sympathetic to its surroundings a process of analysis should inspire the design process. A sustainable development proposal will need to fully integrate into the existing built fabric by ensuring a positive relationship with its surroundings with respect to the pattern and arrangement of development blocks, streets, density, form, scale, massing, height, elevational design and materials. The Southend Borough Wide Character Study 2011 provides a detailed description and understanding of the Borough’s urban character and should be used as a reference document when considering a sites context.

Public Realm

2.4 The design of the spaces between buildings, both private and public, is a fundamental component in contributing to place-shaping. This includes hard and soft landscaping, art/sculpture, as well as boundary treatments, bin and cycle stores, use of materials and lighting. Landscape design and the intended use of any open spaces must form an integral part of any proposals, and considered in the context of the development as a whole and from the conception of a project. Particular attention needs to be given to the interface between the public and private space and how an area will connect or relate to the wider open space network.


2.5 High quality development by definition should not result in adverse impact on the amenity of occupiers of nearby properties, whilst providing a positive living environment for its intended users. Protection and enhancement of amenity is essential to maintaining people's quality of life and ensuring the successful integration of proposed development into existing neighbourhoods. Amenity refers to well-being and takes account of factors such as privacy, overlooking, outlook, noise and disturbance, the sense of overbearing, pollution and daylight and sunlight. A proposed development will need to consider its potential impact upon neighbouring properties and the surround area. Such considerations apply equally to proposals to extend and alter existing buildings as they do to new developments.

Secured by Design

2.6 Developments should be safe and secure and take account of crime prevention and community safety considerations as cited in the Secured by Design principles. This will require particular consideration to the layout of the development to allow for effective natural surveillance and supervision of public areas. Where appropriate, public areas should be clearly visible from adjoining buildings and the design and landscaping should provide for clear sight-lines on public routes (paths, cycle ways etc) and not create unnecessary concealed or void areas.

Pre-Application Discussions

2.7 Good urban design requires a 'partnership' approach between applicants, the Council and the local community. As such, the Council will require applicants to engage in pre-application discussions with the Local Planning Authority and the local community and stakeholders where appropriate. These discussions may benefit both applicants and the Council in ensuring a better understanding of the proposals and defining the scope of drawings and reports to be submitted with a planning application.

(1)Policy DM1 – Design Quality
  1. All developments must demonstrate how the design principles set out in the ‘Design and Townscape Guide’ have been incorporated into the development. All development must:
  1. Respect and enhance the character of the site, its local context and surroundings in terms of its architectural approach, height, size, scale, form, massing, density, proportions, materials, townscape and/or landscape setting, and detailed design features;
  2. Provide appropriate detailing that contributes to and enhances the distinctiveness of place;
  3. Contribute positively to the space between buildings and their relationship to the public realm;
  4. Protect the amenity of the site and surrounding area, having regard to privacy, overlooking, outlook, noise and disturbance, the sense of overbearing, pollution and daylight and sunlight;
  5. Provide an internal and external layout that takes account of all potential users; and
  6. Address security issues by having regard to the principles of ‘Secured by Design’.

Core Strategy Linkage:  
Objectives Policies
Strategic Objective 14 Policy KP2: Development Principles
  Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Policy DM2 – Low Carbon Development and Efficient Use of Resources

2.8 New development has the potential to impact upon the environment, from the materials used in construction, to the impact its future use has on the consumption of natural resources. It is therefore crucial that energy and water conservation measures together with other sustainable measures be incorporated into new development. All development will be required to meet the highest possible environmental standards including being designed and built to reduce energy and resource use, minimise greenhouse gas emissions across its lifetime and incorporate low carbon technologies. Urban greening techniques will be promoted and supported as such measures will contribute to the adaptation to, and mitigation of, the effects of climate change.

2.9 Policy KP2 of the adopted Core Strategy seeks the reduction in the use of energy and other resources within all new development as well as requiring 10% of the energy needs of all new development to come from on-site renewable options (and/or decentralised renewable or low carbon sources) in line with national planning and energy policy. These are quite separate policy objectives and the Core Strategy established that development must address both. Policy DM2 should be read in conjunction with KP2 and both policies will collectively reduce the consumption of energy and natural resources and will contribute towards the provision of renewable energy supply and securing more sustainable forms of development.

2.10 The Borough Council has signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change, which is a voluntary pledge to address the issues of climate change. In signing the declaration, the Borough Council is giving a public commitment that it will play its part in addressing the causes and possible impacts of climate change. The Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan (CCAAP) is the Borough Council’s strategy for relation to improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions throughout Southend and tackling climate change and sustainability locally. The CCAAP requires the planning system to reduce the volume of greenhouse gas emissions throughout Southend-on-Sea and where possible exceed national carbon emission reduction targets in new builds.

2.11 The Borough Council is also a lead partner organisation for Build with CaRe (Carbon Reduction) which aims to mainstream energy efficient building design. The Build with CaRe project is partly financed by the Interreg IV B North Sea Programme and involves local and regional authorities, universities and institutes from 10 regions in 5 countries in the North Sea Region. The Borough Council is involved in two of the four Build with CaRe work packages (planning & policy and marketing & publicity) and will utilise its involvement in the partnership to progress the low carbon agenda.

Passive Design Measures

2.12 Good passive design is based on the principles of orientation, daylighting, ventilation, insulation, thermal mass and zoning. The basic idea of a passively designed building is to allow in heat, daylight and air only when it is useful in achieving a desired comfort level. A well designed passive building will use very little energy to maintain a constant thermal comfort level and an abundance of natural light will reduce the requirement for artificial lighting. The key principles of passive design include:

  • The use of materials with high thermal efficiency;
  • Maximising the benefits of passive solar gain to provide natural heating and lighting;
  • Minimises overshadowing;
  • Promotes natural ventilation, cooling and shading;
  • Incorporates indigenous species which are resilient to the predicted impacts of climate change;
  • Makes the most efficient use of water resources;
  • Ensures that water run-off levels are maintained at pre-development levels wherever possible; and
  • Use of permeable surfaces, sustainable drainage systems, green roofs and other water management features.

Sustainable Code and BREEAM

2.13 The Borough Council requires a proactive approach to carbon management and covers a wider range of issues other than just energy use.

2.14 The Code for Sustainable Homes is a national standard for sustainable design and construction of new homes. The Code for Sustainable Homes provides an all-round measure of the sustainability of new homes, ensuring that homes deliver real improvements in key areas such as carbon dioxide emissions and water use. The Borough Council will require a minimum Sustainable Code Level 3 for all new residential developments. Exceptions will be considered where it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Council this is not viable or feasible. The built environment accounts for approximately 40% of carbon emissions nationally, it is therefore essential that all forms of housing meet the se standards.

2.15 It is important that all new non-residential developments also meet environmental standards in terms of function and impact, not just for the short term but over the lifetime of the development. The Borough Council therefore will require all non-residential developments to meet the BREEAM standard ‘Very Good’ as a minimum, although higher standards will be encouraged. Exceptions will be considered where it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Council this is not viable or feasible.

Water Efficiency

2.16 There is a need for increased water efficiency measures to be installed into new developments to take account of the water resourcing issues associated with Essex. The Essex Thames Gateway Water Cycle Study: Scoping Study 2009 states that South Essex is not self sufficient in relation to water resources and over the last 25 years has been dependent on the transfer of water from other areas beyond the wider Essex area. In very dry years there is a ‘supply and demand deficit’ in the Essex Thames Gateway area, meaning there are insufficient resources to meet peak demand. The Environment Agency advice is to reduce water consumption rates to 110 lpppd. The Supplement to PPS1 states that sustainability targets should align with the Code for Sustainable Homes, or BREEAM standards. Code Level 3 requires water consumption rates of 105 lpppd, and is considered necessary as a minimum requirement to achieve a sustainable supply of water in Southend-on-Sea.

Urban Greening

2.17 Urban greening is the use of planting of various types and soft open spaces within a development on a site to perform a range of functions and achieve a positive outcome. It not only enhances the aesthetic quality of a development but also contributes towards absorbing rainfall, filtering pollution (water and air borne) and providing shade and/ or shelter. It also contributes to the reduction of glare and heat reflection and the reduction of a buildings energy demand, whilst forming part of the wider green infrastructure in Southend-on-Sea, assisting in the promotion of biodiversity and increasing the amount of the provision of soft open space.

2.18 Planting and landscaping, given the range of potential benefits described above, should not be an afterthought or considered as a merely decorative element to be added once the built structures are designed or constructed, it should be a major consideration at an early stage in the design of any development design. Applicants should always consider whether a solution involving plants can be found instead of hard or engineered solutions. Thus the use of plants should be considered an integral part of the development.

(1)2.19 The Thames Gateway South Essex Greengrid Strategy and the Government’s Sustainable Communities: Greening the Gateway document seeks to achieve a living system threading through the urban and rural landscapes. This vision places landscape at the heart of the development process. Urban greening will contribute to this objective by incorporating measures that create a positive sense of place, provide environmental protection for local communities and enhances quality of life. Furthermore it contributes to the emergence of a continuous linked network of varied landscapes that begins at the ‘front door’ and connects with the wider area.


2.20 The East of England, together with London and the South East, is expected to experience the most significant climate change impacts in the UK. The vast majority of the existing housing stock was built without consideration of climate change and consequently needs to be adapted to enhance its long-term sustainability. Retrofitting, that is the fitting of climate adaptation measures to existing premises, may be a cost effective means of adapting existing stock to ensure it is upgraded to cope with the current climate and future climatic changes. There are a number of key advantages to the retrofitting including: improving the resilience to flooding; improving water efficiency through the introduction of cost-effective measures that save water, energy and carbon alike; and addressing the issue of overheating without constituting a significant increase in carbon dioxide emissions. These measures will make the internal environment of existing buildings more comfortable and will ensure fewer resources are consumed, thus reducing costs and reducing carbon dioxide emissions and thereby make an important contribution to sustainable development. The Borough Council will therefore expect the EcoHomes 2006 ‘Very Good’ standard to be met within development proposals for conversions, extensions and/or alterations of existing buildings, where viable or feasible.

Energy Assessments

2.21 All major planning applications must be accompanied by an Energy Assessment that demonstrates how passive and energy efficient measures have been incorporated into a proposal and the extent to which these measures have reduced energy demand. The Energy Assessment will also have to demonstrate how the measures incorporated into the scheme will ensure it meets the relevant Code for Sustainable Homes and/or BREEAM standards. Planning applications for minor developments will need to include a section within the Design and Access Statement that addresses how these measures have been met.

(6)Policy DM2 – Low Carbon Development and Efficient Use of Resources
(1) All Development proposals will make the fullest contribution to minimising energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions in accordance with the following energy hierarchy:
  1. Be lean: reduce the need for and use less energy;
  2. Be clean: supply and use energy efficiently; and
Be green: supply energy from renewable sources.
(2) All development proposals will be energy and resource efficient by incorporating all of the following requirements:
  1. Applying passive and energy efficient design measures; and Using sustainable sourced materials; and Adopting sustainable construction methods; and
  2. Achieving a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and move towards zero carbon by 2016 for all residential developments. Achieve a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating and move towards zero carbon by 2019 for all non-residential developments. Planning conditions will require submission of final Code certificates and post-construction BREEAM certificates, as appropriate; and
  3. Incorporating water efficient design measures that limit internal water consumption to between 80 and 105 l/p/d. Such measures will include the use of water efficient fittings, appliances and water recycling systems such as grey water and rainwater harvesting; and
  4. Incorporating urban greening measures and promoting biodiversity from the beginning of the design process. Urban greening and design measures include, but are not limited to: provision of soft open space; tree planting; green roofs; living walls; nest boxes; and soft landscaping.
(3) High standards of energy and water efficiency in existing developments will be supported wherever possible through retrofitting. Conversions, extensions and/or alterations of existing buildings should meet EcoHomes ‘very good’. Where this is not technically feasible or viable, appropriate sustainability measures will be incorporated.


Core Strategy Linkage:  
Objectives Policies
Strategic Objective 15 Policy KP2: Development Principles
Strategic Objective 17 Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance
Strategic Objective 18  

Policy DM3 – The Efficient and Effective Use of Land

(1)2.22 Given the constraints and urban characteristics of Southend-on-Sea it is essential that existing land is used in an efficient and effective manner that contributes to the sustainable objectives set out in the adopted Core Strategy, whilst protecting and positively promoting a high quality of life for the Borough’s residents.


2.23 A design-led approach to the density of a development proposal is necessary to balance the efficient use of land with the protection of local distinctiveness. Proposals for high density development will need to ensure that increased densities will not result in a detrimental impact upon the amenity and character of the surrounding area. Design and Access Statements will need to explain the rationale for the density selected, in particular, its impact on the capacity of the site to meet other necessary policy requirements, and how it relates to local physical and environmental characteristics (including the rhythm/grain and massing of existing buildings), relationship to surrounding buildings and occupiers as well as the location's accessibility, transport and infrastructure capacity.

Backland and Infill

2.24 Backland development refers to the development of land to the rear of existing buildings whilst infill sites are development sites on the street frontage between existing buildings. Amendments made to PPS3 in June 2010 provide a greater recognition of the value of gardens and changed their land classification from previously developed land to greenfield land. However, backland and infill sites have made an important contribution to the delivery of housing in Southend-on-Sea. Nevertheless a balance needs to be exercised to ensure that development does not intensify the use of a site to such an extent that it causes a detrimental impact for its intended occupiers, its neighbours and the surrounding area. It is also necessary to consider the relationship of the site to the surrounding area in terms of local character, ecology, green corridors and the general environment. The Borough Council will restrict backland and infill development where any of these matters are detrimentally affected. The Design and Townscape Guide SPD provides further detail on how backland and infill development may be successfully achieved in Southend-on-Sea.

Conversion of Existing Dwellings

2.25 There is a need resist the conversion of existing single dwellings due to the identified shortage of family housing in Southend-on-Sea. The Thames Gateway South Essex Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) 2008 (updated in 2010) demonstrates that there is strong demand and need for family accommodation in Southend-on-Sea yet there is a shortage of this type of accommodation in the Borough. The conversion of existing single dwellings into self-contained flats (in combination with a rise in provision of new build flats) over the last 20 years has led to an above average number of 1-bed and 2-bed dwellings, a consequence of which is that there is now an undersupply family housing in Southend-on-Sea.

2.26 Conversions of single dwellings to more than one self-contained unit can also give rise to a number of problems within an area. These include contributing to pressure on on-street parking, changes in the social and physical character and function of an area. It is also important that conversions do not result in a poor quality internal environment that detrimentally impacts upon the intended occupiers’ quality of life. The cumulative impact from multiple conversions in an area on population growth and high activity can also put pressure on local services and infrastructure that is not immediately recognised as part of a single application. Applicants wishing to convert an existing property will be required to demonstrate how the proposals will create a high quality internal layout and will not, on its own and in association with other conversion schemes, impact detrimentally upon the surrounding area.


2.27 Southend-on-Sea has a higher than average older people’s population with higher than average home-ownership. Many of Southend-on-Sea’s older residents want to remain living in their own home and community as long as possible within accommodation which helps them to feel safe and secure. The Southend-on-Sea Older People’s Accommodation & Support Needs Strategy 2008 – 2011 states that 81% of residents aged 55-64 and 50% of people aged 85 years and over live in a house or bungalow. To ensure that homes and neighbourhoods are sustainable it is necessary to provide accommodation that allows people to remain in their own home as their physical and social needs change. There is a growing pressure in Southend-on-Sea to redevelop bungalow dwellings for higher density housing schemes. With the projected increase in the elderly population in Southend-on-Sea who do not require specific care assistance and seek to remain in their home it is clear that there is a pressing need to protect bungalows dwellings in the Borough as this house type being single storey, often detached and usually on a larger plot size that other types of housing is the most suitable and adaptable as a person’s physical and social needs change.

2.28 The Southend Borough Wide Character Study 2011 notes that one of the key distinguishing features of Southend-on-Sea is the high degree of variation found from plot to plot. Areas developed in this way contain a wide range of building types including a mix of bungalows in amongst the two and sometimes three storey houses. There are a number of streets within Southend-on-Sea where the prevailing character is of single storey dwellings. The nature of these streets and the presence of bungalows in the streetscene is a distinctive feature of Southend-on-Sea and as such should be protected. Proposals involving the redevelopment of bungalows will need to demonstrate how specific bungalow design advice contained within the Design and Townscape Guide has been adhered to.

Additions and Alterations

2.29 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 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. The Design and Townscape Guide SPD provides detailed guidance on how to successfully integrate an alteration or addition with the original building. All alterations and additions will be required to make a positive contribution to the character of the existing building and the surrounding area.

(1)Policy DM3 – The Efficient and Effective Use of Land
1. All development will be design-led and will seek to optimise the use of land in a manner that is compatible with the local context together with local infrastructure and transport capacity. An excessive intensity of development will be refused.
2. All development on land that constitutes backland and infill development will be considered on a site-by-site basis. Development within these locations will not be acceptable where the proposals:
  1. Will create a detrimental impact upon the living conditions of existing and future residents; or
  2. Conflict with the character and grain of the local area; or
  3. Result in contrived and unusable garden space for the existing and proposed dwellings; or
  4. Result in the loss of local ecological assets including wildlife habitats and significant trees.
3. The conversion of existing single dwellings into two or more dwellings will generally be resisted. Exceptions will be considered where the proposed development:
  1. Does not adversely impact upon the living conditions of the intended occupants and neighbouring residents and uses; and
  2. Will not harm the character and appearance of the existing building or wider area or set a precedent that will lead to a material change of street’s character and function; and
  3. Meets the residential standards set out in DM8 and the vehicle parking standards set out Policy DM16.
4. The conversion or redevelopment of single storey dwellings (bungalows) will generally be resisted. Exceptions will be considered where the proposal:
  1. Does not create an unacceptable juxtaposition within the streetscene that would harm the character and appearance of the area; and/ or
  2. Will not harm the balance of housing types essential to meet the needs of Southend-on-Sea’s residents.
5. Alterations and additions to a building must make a positive contribution to the character of the original building and the surrounding area through:
  1. The use of materials and detailing that draws reference from, and where appropriate enhances, the original building, and ensures successful integration with it; and
  2. Adopting a scale that is respectful and subservient to that of the original building and surrounding area.
  3. Where alternative materials and detailing are proposed it will need to be demonstrated that such an approach will improve the character of the original building or surrounding area.


Core Strategy Linkage:  
Objectives Policies
Strategic Objective 4 Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy
Strategic Objective 14 Policy KP2: Development Principles
  Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

DM4 – Tall and Large Buildings

2.30 It is the Borough Council’s approach that tall and large buildings should be part of a strategic approach to regeneration at key locations within the Southend Central Area and that such buildings should not have an unacceptably harmful impact on their surroundings. Appropriately sited, attractive and well-designed tall buildings can make a strong and positive contribution to the skyline of Southend-on-Sea, by attracting investment, assisting in way finding, and acting as a catalyst for regeneration. It is important that the impact of tall buildings is critically assessed through the planning process and that only proposals which pass a rigorous examination are put forward for approval.

2.31 For the purposes of this policy tall and large buildings are defined as buildings that are significantly taller and/or bulkier and out of scale with the prevailing built form of the surrounding area and/or have a significant impact on the skyline.

2.32 Southend-on-Sea already has a number of tall and large buildings. The Southend Borough Wide Character Study 2011 notes that these buildings tend to be focused on the Southend Central Area and along the Seafront. The Southend Central Area is the focus for a significant cluster of tall buildings, both in the core of the town centre but also in the Civic Quarter to the north of Victoria Station. In addition, a number of residential towers exist dotted around the Borough, mainly in the central and eastern half of the town. These are typically the product of public sector housing development in the 1960s and are located amongst conventional low rise development. Such areas are generally low rise and therefore would be sensitive to further tall buildings. A number of tall and large buildings that are often too bulky have been developed along the Seafront, however many of the more recent examples, by virtue of their bulk and massing have resulted in a loss of historic grain and character and are often constructed in locations which do not require a significant landmark.

2.33 Along the Seafront it is considered that tall buildings should be restricted to the Southend Central Area, beyond this central area such buildings are incongruous with the character and function of the Seafront. The existence of a tall building in a particular location will not, of itself, justify its replacement with a new tall building on the same site, or a new tall building in the same area. In addition tall buildings will be resisted either within, or immediately adjacent to, any of Southend-on-Sea’s historic assets where they would visually impinge on the setting of these assets.

2.34 Retaining and enhancing key views and vistas through the sensitive siting of tall buildings is a key objective. Tall buildings should complement, not compromise, important views and vistas in the Borough and respect significant local views, particularly in regard to the view of the Seafront and Thames Estuary but also how the town is viewed from the River Thames. Tall buildings can be used to effectively reinforce landmarks or significant gateways but they should not be used in themselves to create a landmark that would not have any contextual meaning.

2.35 It is necessary for tall and large buildings to be located close to existing public transport infrastructure that has the ability to absorb the impacts related to increases in urban density brought about by such developments. Applications will be required to demonstrate their proximity to existing public transport infrastructure as well as set out a travel plan that clearly describes the measures that will be implemented to reduce car use by occupants of the building.

(1)2.36 The principles of sustainability as set out in other LDF policies should form the basis of all new tall and large buildings in the Borough. Tall and large buildings have a role to play in improving building performance, energy consumption, water management and materials selection. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate how proposals will exceed both the Sustainable Code for Homes and BREEAM standards as appropriate.

2.37 Applicants must also provide 360 degree evaluations of the potential visual impact of the proposal on the urban context. This may be illustrated through visually verified montages and contextual models that analyse impacts on:

  • The built and natural environment;
  • Key strategic views, approaches and points of arrival;
  • Conservation settings and listed buildings; and
  • Local views.
(2)Policy DM4 – Tall and Large Buildings
1. Tall and large buildings are defined as buildings that are significantly taller and out of scale with the prevailing built form of the surrounding area and/or have a significant impact on the skyline. Tall buildings will only be permitted in the Southend Central Area and will only be considered outside this area in exceptional circumstances. All development proposals involving tall buildings will require early and extensive discussions with planning officers and where appropriate the involvement of third parties. Tall and large buildings will only be considered acceptable where:
  1. They are located in areas whose character, function and appearance would not be harmed by the scale, mass or bulk of a tall or large building; and
  2. They integrate with the form, proportion, composition, character of surrounding buildings, urban grain and public realm (including landscape features), particularly at street level; and
  3. Individually or as a group, form a distinctive landmark that emphasises a point of visual significance and enhances the skyline and image of Southend-on- Sea; and
  4. The highest standards of architecture and materials are incorporated; and
  5. The latest regulations and planning policies for minimising energy use and reducing carbon emissions over the lifetime of the development are exceeded; and
  6. Ground floor activities provide a positive relationship to the surrounding streets; and
  7. The tall and large buildings will be located in an area with frequent public transport links.
2. Tall and large buildings will not be acceptable where:
  1. They adversely affect their surroundings in terms of character, microclimate, wind turbulence, overshadowing, noise, reflected glare, navigation and telecommunication interference; or
  2. They impact adversely on local views that make an important contribution to the character of the area; or
  3. They adversely impact upon the skyline of Southend-on-Sea as viewed from the foreshore and other important viewpoints and vistas within and outside the Borough; or
  4. They adversely impact upon London Southend Airport; or
  5. They detrimentally impact upon the setting of historic assets.


Core Strategy Linkage:  
Objectives Policies
Strategic Objective 4 Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy
Strategic Objective 14 Policy KP2: Development Principles
  Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

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

(1)2.38 The Borough Council will seek to preserve and enhance Southend-on-Sea’s built and landscape heritage and ensure that it provides benefits to the Borough’s economy, culture and quality of life for its residents. The historic heritage of an area can provide a sense of place that links with the past. Southend-on-Sea has a number of rich heritage assets that includes conservation areas, listed buildings, locally listed buildings, scheduled monuments and sites of archaeological importance. Heritage assets also include undesignated sites and features.

2.39 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 Century, and Shoebury Garrison which has several listed buildings and special architectural and historic interest in its own right.

2.40 The careful treatment of the setting of a building is therefore vital to ensuring that new development complements and enhances its surroundings. The Borough Council will require explanation of how the potential implications for heritage assets of any development proposals affecting a conservation area or listed building or locally listed are addressed.

Conservation Areas

2.41 Conservation Areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest where the Borough Council has a statutory duty to preserve or enhance their character and appearance. The boundaries of the Borough’s 14 Conservation Areas are shown on the Proposals Map. To preserve the character and quality of the Conservation Areas, development within these areas will have to be carefully considered and demonstrate a high quality design that not only integrates with the surroundings but also preserves and enhances its intrinsic character. Development adjoining these areas will also have to demonstrate that it does not detrimentally impact the setting of the Conservation Area.

Listed Buildings

2.42 The statutory list for Southend-on-Sea was first published in 1974 and there are to date around 150 historic buildings and structures in the Borough included on it. These important assets are links to Southend-on-Sea’s past, which the Borough Council will seek to ensure are preserved and enhanced to protect local heritage and promote a sense of place.

2.43 When considering proposals affecting listed buildings, local authorities have a statutory duty to have special regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest. There is a clear presumption against proposals for the total or substantial demolition of any listed building, or for any alteration or extension that would adversely affect its special architectural or historic character. Proposals which affect the setting of a Listed Building will also be critically assessed.

Locally Listed Buildings

2.44 A locally listed building is a building or other structure which is deemed to be of local architectural or historic interest and is included on the Local List drawn up by the Borough Council. The Borough Council locally lists buildings in order to give them the recognition they deserve. Locally listed buildings do not have the statutory protection afforded by listed buildings but make an important contribution to Southend-on-Sea’s sense of place and consequently need to be protected.


2.45 Southend-on-Sea contains numerous sites of archaeological importance. They constitute a finite and non-renewable resource and are in many cases highly fragile and vulnerable to damage and destruction. Many locations within the Borough have sites that may have archaeological potential but have no statutory protection. Where development affects sites of archaeological significance, or potential significance, the Council will require an archaeological investigation that sets out appropriate measures to protect and record historic remains. Guidance should be sought from English Heritage on the scale and nature of information required.

(2)Policy DM5 – Southend-on-Sea’s Historic Environment
  1. All development proposals that affect an historic asset will be required to preserve and enhance its historic character, setting and townscape value. Development proposals that detrimentally impact upon an historic asset will be refused.
  1. The total or partial demolition of a listed building, locally listed building or a building within a conservation area will be resisted, unless exceptional circumstances are shown to outweigh the case for retention.
  1. 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.
  1. Any alterations and additions to a heritage asset will need be evidence-based.  They should be informed by a heritage statement explaining the significance of the building, giving a justification for the works, and clearly identifying their impact on the building’s fabric and character. Where appropriate this may be set out in the Design and Access Statement.
  1. Where development might affect archaeological deposits, an evaluation should be carried out beforehand so that it is possible to assess the likely impact of the application on the deposits, and that provision is made for their provision in situ, or for their investigation and recording. 


Core Strategy Linkage:  
Objectives Policies
Strategic Objective 14 Policy KP2: Development Principles
  Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance
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