Rochford District Council takes action to protect listed building

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Rochford District Council has taken action to protect a Grade II listed building, the former Barclays Bank, in the heart of Rochford’s town centre.

The authority was made aware on Wednesday 10 April that structural works had taken place at the building, which is a prominent feature in the Market Square and had recently been sold to a new owner.

A site visit by planning officers revealed works had commenced on the building without obtaining the required Listed Building Consent. Section 7 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation areas) act 1990 contains a straightforward prohibition on carrying out works without consent.

Council officers observed damage had occurred to parts of the original fabric of the building and works were continuing.

The Council’s legal team initially submitted an application for an injunction to the County Court in Southend to restrain any further works to the building being carried out without first obtaining the necessary consent.

However, the owner has now cooperated with the Council and a consent order was agreed by both parties on Wednesday 17 April which prevents any works for the demolition, alteration or extension of the building and to pay the Council’s costs of £1,928.95. The owner is now in discussions with the Council and the Historic Building Advisor from Essex County Council.

Rochford District Council’s Assistant Director for Environmental Services, Marcus Hotten, said: "Undertaking works to a listed building without first obtaining the necessary consent is a serious matter, works of this nature can cause harm to the significance of a designated heritage asset and will not be tolerated."