Proposed drawing and frontage

Article by Guy Bell: A huge revamp of an eyesore building in Billericay High Street has been backed by the town council.

The Costa and Carphone Warehouse building as it stands today has been branded "truly awful." But an application to renovate it and create five flats has been backed by Billericay Town Councillor Adam Adshead.

He voted in favour of the refurbishment, a scheme that would see shops remain on the ground floor at 76 and 78 High Street, with three flats above. The outbuilding will also be demolished and replaced with a two-storey building for a further two flats with parking and gardens.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Adam Ashead"]I found the planning meeting we had was not only productive but also hugely enjoyable. Many planning applications are understandably similar with the conversion of a garage into living space or a side extension to a home and we deal with perhaps 14 of these every two weeks. Sometimes an application stands out as having the potential to improve its surroundings rather than being focused on a single individual or family's needs. This particular application was one that for me stood out as being something that could create a significant improvement in the look and feel of our High Street and, since our decision was unanimous to vote in favour of the plans, I suspect all will agree.[/quote]

Cllr Adshead suggested new builds could also have a positive impact on a number of older established buildings in the High Street. He said:

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Adam Ashead"]There are a number of buildings that most people would agree would be great if they were replaced but because of the cost it is relatively rare for this to happen. The current building looks truly awful and is made worse by the fact that on one side you have an 18th century building that houses the wonderful Cater Museum. On the other side is a more modern building, yet one that is architecturally still in-keeping with its surroundings. Although any replacement would have to fit within planning guidelines, I would congratulate the owner and architect for having the courage to propose something that brings back so much of the original style and design of the High Street.[/quote]

Basildon Borough Council planning officers will have the final say on the application later this year.

Original article by Guy Bell, Ongar Gazette

To view the application visit Basildon Councils website and enter 16/00005/FULL in the search.

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