Langford’s oldest house and store renovations rejected 2023

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A proposal to rehabilitate a dilapidated medieval building was rejected by council planners, resulting in a setback.

The old General Stores and adjoining house on Maldon Road in Langford are a timber-framed listed structure with early 18th-century features.

The structure was originally constructed as a single-story hall house in the 15th or early 16th century, making it the village’s oldest residence.

A plaque on the front of the primary chimney stack bears the inscription ‘1725’.

However, the structure is presently boarded up and has been deemed an eyesore.

A planning permission application was submitted to Maldon District Council for extensive renovations so that the building could be inhabited again.

The plans included a new house-compliant rear extension, new windows, and a garage constructed with black wood cladding to match the existing outbuilding.

Existing walls and a dilapidated outbuilding will be demolished to make room for a new driveway and garage.

The application states, “The existing dwelling is in a dilapidated state, with the ground-floor windows boarded up, rendering it inhabitable.”

“The parking arrangement is insufficient for the size of the property, and the roof of the dilapidated outbuilding has collapsed and is in poor condition.

“As a result of the proposed renovations, the entire property would become habitable, and the window shutters would be removed, making the property more aesthetically pleasing from all angles and less of an eyesore to the public.”

The historic structure is located in the Langford conservation area.

A conservation officer deemed the application’s heritage statement insufficient.

Their report states, “At a bare minimum, the relevant historic environment record should have been consulted, and the heritage assets should have been evaluated using the requisite expertise.”

The General Stores is a component of a historically significant building with intricate phases.

Several of the alterations proposed as part of the applications would have a significant impact and should be supported by a buildings historian’s expert heritage statement.

The district council denied the application on the grounds that the proposed development would damage the historic structure’s appearance and integrity.

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