Major upgrades to a historic downtown landmark which is an ‘urgent need’ of renovation have been approved by Essex Council.
The ground floor extension below the 1960s Brutalist Tower, Brooke House, Basildon, will be built to provide a new wheelchair-accessible entrance and foyer area for residents.
The tower, which is Grade II listed and has tenants, will also receive a new roof terrace, general decor and replacement work, upgrades to fire bays, security cameras, insulation, cladding, stair extensions and similar alternatives. windows.
Brooke House was floated on eight concrete V-legs and concerns were raised at last night’s (22 June) Planning Committee meeting, where proposals were approved, about plans to fill this space in the new entrance foyer.
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A resident of Brooke House was named at the meeting where Mrs. Jeffers told members that repairs were “really needed” but that changes to the building’s base did not respect the building’s heritage.
She said, “The appearance of standing on your legs, semi-floating in the air, is significant and impressive. A caulk in the legs would be a cultural subversion. It would be a needless, grave mistake.”
Mrs. Jeffers continued to say that there is indeed wheelchair access to the tower via the basement.
Consultant Craig Rimmer (Con, Pitsea South East) raised similar concerns about the pollutants, which he claimed would strip the building’s unique character and impede the “natural flow” of people through downtown.
Councilor David Dades (Con, Billericay East) who chaired the meeting said he welcomed the design, and said, “I think the building is in dire need of investment in renovation and redevelopment.”
He also said that the backfill would prevent the wind tunnel effect currently being experienced by people walking under the building.
Alex Harrison of Labor (Lee Chapel North) said: “The windows and insulation in the apartments themselves, and the work we do for them is fantastic and is long overdue and will save residents hundreds of pounds on their energy bills, which, as they go up again in October, there is desperately needed it.”
He later said: “Visibility of the fire exit, security cameras and insulation are all indispensable and we have to get it done very quickly, if we can find a way to get a new ground level design that would be perfect but if not then I feel the positives outweigh the positives.” There are a lot of downsides to this.”