Two separate applications to build a total of four homes in Lime Street, Brightlingsea have been submitted to Tendring District Council (TDC).
One of the applications – which would involve the demolition of six lock-up garages on land to the west of the unmade lane – is a modification of a plan that was refused on appeal in 2020.
Then, the proposal was to build three two-bedroomed, two-storey houses on the plot. Now, the application is for a terrace of three single-storey, one bedroomed properties – described as "almhouse type" by the Colchester-based applicants, Mr & Mrs Summers. One of the main reasons for refusal of the 2020 outline application was the site's proximity to the Grade I listed Jacobes Hall.
Picture shows the location of the current garages
In a planning and heritage statement, the applicants say the design (pictured top)is based on the Winnocks almshouses in Colchester. "This form of accommodation would be highly suitable for those over 65 who require a smaller dwelling unit but wish to maintain their independence within their own privately owned home," says the statement, though it adds that any restriction on the age of occupants "couild not be justified".
The statement says that the garages – used for storage for more than 40 years – are not associated with nearby dwellings and "cannot be described as attractive". Each property would have one car parking space and the statement adds that "the resulting scheme will provide an attractive and appropriate design for this edge of High Street location, replacing a block of six lock up garages with three very attractive and desirable small scale residential units in a highly sustainable location".
The second application - from Clare Richmond of John Street, Brightlingsea, is for change of use to allow a self-build bungalow to be constructed on part of a site currently used for boat and caravan storage, and for the siting of a caravan on the site to be lived in while building is taking place.
The plans say the two-bedroomed bungalow would be constructed to be "highly thermally efficient" with a profiled metal sheet roof and walls faced with natural larch and positioned to maximise the efficiency of solar panels. A ground source heat pump, grey water recycling tanks and triple-glazing are also planned, and a "naturally cool and ventilated" pantry on the north wall would reduce the need for a fridge.
Drawings of the self-build bungalow
According the submitted planning statement, around 450 sq m of the plot on the west side of Lime Street would be required for the bungalow and parking, with 870 sq m left for storage and a similar area remaining for an orchard, garden and native planting to screen the site from the open land to the south-east.
In February, planners rejected a proposal to build a one-bedroomed house in the back garden of a house in Tower Street – accessed from Tower Cut which leads to Lime Street – saying it was backland development and "wholly out of character with the area".
The plans for the three bungalows are due to be discussed by Brightlingsea Town Council's planning committee on April 20 before being considered by TDC. No date has yet been set for the self-build project to be discussed.