The Leigh Society is a consultee in respect of all applications
within the 4 Leigh Conservation Areas. Our Planning Panel comments
every month on applications ranging from very minor extensions
and changes to properties to the much larger more controversial
applications which affect the town.
Southend Borough Council are the Planning Authority for the
area and have a number of policies relating to the Town. The
Society is represented on the Borough Council’s Conservation
WHAT YOU NEED TO
KNOW ABOUT LIVING IN A LEIGH
Leigh is under great pressure for development of all kinds,
but particularly house extensions and flats. But it is sometimes
the little, seemingly innocuous developments which cause problems
and if allowed to go unchecked can lead to harm to the conservation
areas. So if you live in a conservation area what can’t
Leigh’s four conservation areas are ‘Old Town’,
‘Leigh Cliffs’, 'Leigh' (which covers a large area
of the town) and 'Chapmanslord' (which covers the area around
Canvey Road). Details of all of these areas can be found on
the Borough Council’s web site www.southend.go.uk.
Conservation Area Consent is required for the demolition of
a building in a conservation area (demolition of part of a
building is more complicated and you should seek advice on
this) and works to any tree within the area whether or not
it is subject to a tree preservation order.
It is too complicated here to go into what requires planning
permission as many minor changes do not, advice should be
sought from the Borough Council’s Planning Department,
but if you live in a conservation area the rules are more
The Council has the power to withdraw rights for permitted
development by making an Article 4 Direction. This does not
mean necessarily that you cannot have permission, but that
you must apply for it so that the Council can control inappropriate
development. The Leigh Conservation Areas are subject to Article
4 Directions in respect of certain types of development and
you will need to apply for planning permission for these.
Also some specific buildings in the Conservation Areas have
additional restrictions so
IF IN DOUBT – CHECK IT OUT - PLANNING CHANGES ALL THE TIME
Of course the other type of special buildings we have in Leigh
are listed buildings and these are subject to very stringent
regulations. The planning rules are different when it comes
to listed buildings.
Generally speak planning permission is not required for internal
alterations to a property, although you may need Building
Regulation approval, for instance if you want to knock down
a load bearing wall – always check with the building
inspector at the Council. Failure to get the necessary Building
Regulation approval can lead to complications when you come
to sell. BUT you will need listed
building consent to demolish a listed building or any part
of it, or alter it in any way which would affect its character,
INSIDE OR OUTSIDE so
get specialist advice.
In addition the Borough Council has placed several buildings
on its local list – these are not listed buildings in
the national sense but are buildings the Borough wants to
take special care over.
The Council has the power to take enforcement action against breaches of planning and conservation controls. Fines
are heavy and you could end up in court.
For planning there are time limits within which they can do
this. However for Listed Buildings there are no such limits
and a listed building enforcement notice can be served at
any time even if the person who did the work is no longer
in the property. This also applies to demolition of a building
in the conservation area. So if you buy a listed building
always make sure that any works which have been done to it
were done with the consent of the Council.