Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock has today spoken of his disappointment that the historic Old Rectory building in Bowers Gifford is to be redeveloped.
The building was first recorded on the 1777 Andres and Chapman Map, and for many nearby residents has become a local landmark.
Previous attempts to protect the building through the English Heritage listing have failed, and plans have now been approved to demolish the building.
Stephen Metcalfe commented: “I am, of course, disappointed by the news that development of this historic site is going ahead. It is a shame for local residents and the entire community when such a unique landmark is lost in this way”.
“However, had there been a ‘local list’ we may have been able to protect such an important and iconic LOCAL landmark. Being a predominately new town, our local heritage is sparse but our local identity is strong, that it is why it is important to protect what we do have.”
“Therefore, I will be contacting the local Council, firstly to see if every possible avenue truly has been explored to save the Old Rectory. Secondly, I will also be asking the council how we might proceed with starting the process of creating a local list, so that this can be avoided in the future.”
“As part of this process, I am asking that local people start to consider which particular buildings of interest they believe might be worthy of consideration for a local list. It is important that the views of local residents are heard on these matters and any process involved with protecting local landmarks should involve their opinions.”