Participating in the debate at Full Council on Thursday evening it was obvious that the Chair of Development Control (a member of the Conservative-UKIP administration) was reluctant to give unequivocal support to the Borough's many conservation areas.
There are many conservation areas in the borough; Milton ward, which I represent, has five alone. These act as a bulwark against inappropriate development. They also ensure that the town's rich architectural heritage is preserved.
There are many rules about what development is permitted in these conservation areas. Strictly upholding these not only ensures the integrity of the conservation area, it also provides clear guidance about what can be done to repair or improve one's property.
The Chair of Development Control appears deaf to the concerns of many across the Borough who want re-assurance with respect to old and beautiful buildings. That the Chair declined to support conservation is unfortunate. I sought support for conservation rules, he declined to give it.
It is a sad day for Southend-on-Sea when the ruling administration turns its back on conservation. I hope that there is a re-think and hope that there will be a commitment to conservation from those in charge at the Council.