West Mersea Neighbourhood Plan

Ended on the 3 September 2021
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12 Heritage

- To conserve and enhance the Town's many heritage assets and ensuring that any new development serves to make a positive contribution to the existing historic environment.

12.1 As well as the Coast Road Conservation Area, there are a number of important buildings across the town that are "listed" as being of architectural and historic interest. There are currently 37 Listed Buildings in West Mersea parish, as detailed in Appendix 5. The Church is Listed Grade I and the remainder are Grade II. In addition, there are five scheduled monuments and the parish is rich in archaeological finds and records with more being discovered on a regular basis. In addition, the Borough Council added the following to the Colchester Borough Local List of Heritage Assets in August 2020:

  • Road signpost at junction of Colchester Road and Mill Road
  • Road signpost at junction of High Street and Barfield Road
  • White Hart Hotel
  • Water Tower, Upland Road
  • WWII Gun Emplacement No. 2 and associated Searchlight Emplacement, Victoria Esplanade

The Colchester Historic Environment Record provides details and Colchester Borough Council's Historic Environment Officers should be consulted at the earliest possible stages of preparing a planning application. It is also recommended that the Mersea Museum is consulted as it holds extensive information about local finds.

Policy WM 26 - Heritage Assets

To ensure the conservation and enhancement of West Mersea's heritage assets, including scheduled monuments listed buildings, listed buildings, non-designated assets, below ground archaeological features and the Coast Road Conservation Area, proposals must:

  1. preserve or enhance the significance of the heritage assets, their setting and the wider built environment, including the character and appearance of the Coast Road conservation area identified on the Policies Map;
  2. retain buildings or spaces, the loss of which would cause harm to the character or appearance of the conservation area;
  3. be of an appropriate scale, form, height, massing, alignment and detailed design which respects the area's character, appearance and setting and;
  4. demonstrate a clear understanding of the significance of the asset and wider context in which the heritage asset sits, alongside an assessment of the potential impact of the development on the heritage asset and its context;

Where a planning proposal affects a heritage asset, it must be accompanied by a heritage statement identifying, as a minimum, the significance of the asset, and an assessment of the impact of the proposal on heritage assets.

The level of detail of the heritage statement should be proportionate to the importance of the asset, the works proposed and sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on its significance and/or wider setting and/or wider substantial benefit. It should demonstrate that the Historic Environment Record has been consulted.

Where appropriate development proposals should demonstrate that they have taken into account the potential impact on above and below ground archaeological deposits and identify mitigation strategies to ensure that evidence which could contribute to the understanding of human activity and past environments is not lost.

Proposals that would contribute appropriately to the restoration, reuse or enhancement of a heritage asset or the West Mersea Conservation Area will be supported in principle.

12.2 There are a number of buildings and features in the parish that are of local significance and which, while not yet formally designated as 'Local Heritage Assets', make a significant contribution to the historic environment and character of West Mersea and may be worthy of being protected as Local Heritage Assets. Work undertaken during the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan has identified 36 potential heritage assets that are of local significance and that should be considered for inclusion in the "Local List", which the Town Council will pursue with the Borough Council.

Policy WM 27 - Local Heritage Assets

The retention and protection of local heritage assets, as designated by Colchester Borough Council, must be appropriately secured.

Proposals for any works that would lead to the loss of, or substantial harm to, a local heritage asset will be resisted unless exceptional circumstances are demonstrated. Proposals should be supported by an appropriate analysis of the significance of the asset to enable a balanced judgement to be made having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the heritage significance of the asset.

Proposals for any works that would affect local heritage assets should be designed sensitively, with careful regard to the historical and architectural interest and setting, including important views towards and from the asset.

All development will be required to be designed appropriately, taking account of local styles, materials and detail.

Community Aspiration 5
West Mersea Town Council will monitor and safeguard qualifying Heritage Assets that the West Mersea community considers of significant importance for inclusion on the Colchester Local List.


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