Renewed hope for 59 and 61 East Street, Southend, Essex as they are saved from demolition!

A pair of late 19th-century houses in the Prittlewell Conservation Area in Southend, Essex listed on Essex County Council's Buildings at Risk Register have been saved from demolition giving renewed hope for the future of 59 and 61 East Street.

The houses, which are semi-detached and were built c.1880, have lain empty and derelict for the last decade despite the best efforts of the Southend and District Building Preservation Trust and sister company the Essex County Preservation Trust, whose repeated offers to buy them over many years have gone ignored by the owner, the Prittlewell Church of England School. Fortunately, a recent planning application for conservation area consent to demolish and replace with a pastiche was refused by Southend Council. Now SAVE is urging the owner to consider the Trust’s offer to buy the houses and calls upon the council to support the Trust in their efforts to restore the houses. We believe securing these charming buildings, at present on the council’s At Risk register, is a priority case for Southend.

The Southend and District Building Preservation Trust has an excellent track record for restoring empty derelict historic buildings and in 2004 restored 69 and 71 East Street, with the help of the Architectural Heritage  Fund. This pair of houses is very similar to 59 and 61, and together they have group value, as identified by the district council. Following their restoration, 69 and 71 East Street were sold and are now occupied as homes. They are now an asset to the conservation area and streetscape. According to the Trust, No 71 was in a dire state and far worse than Nos 59 and 61 East Street are currently. This goes to show what the Trust is capable of achieving.

Vernon Wilkinson of The Essex County Preservation Trust says: ‘The Trust is anxious to see the preservation and restoration of these properties, for the benefit of the local community and the area. The Trust is fully capable and fully experienced in restorations of this nature. They are also more than happy to engage in a back-to-back Compulsory Purchase Order with Council if this provides a way forward.’

The Church of England in Prittlewell applied to demolish No 69, which it used to own, but agreed to sell it to the Trust once it became clear that the council would not grant conservation area consent.

It is disappointing that they are not leaidng by example but are rather seeking to destroy local heritage.

Rhiannon Wicks, Deputy Director of SAVE Britain's Heritage says "To highlight the plight of 59 and 61 East Street, Southend SAVE will add them to its buildings at risk register. They are eminently capable of repair and once restored woudl make a valuable contribution to the character of the conservation area and would make lovely homes."

For further press information and images, please contact Rhiannon Wicks at SAVE on 020 7253 3500 or on  or Andrew Labbert at the Southend and District Building Preservation Trust on 01702 445587 or on building

SAVE Britain’s Heritage has been campaigning for historic buildings since its formation in 1975 by a group of architects, journalists and planners. It is a strong, independent voice in conservation, free to respond rapidly to emergencies and to speak out loud for the historic built environment.

Press release issued by SAVE Britain’s Heritage, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ. Registered Charity 269129

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