A BID to have railings surrounding a park listed following the granting of planning permission for homes near a beauty spot has failed.

Witham Town Council lodged an application with Historic England to get the railings which surround Witham’s town park placed on a protected list.

As part of developer Bellway’s plans to build 78 homes off River View – which were granted by Braintree Council in March – the railings will be ripped out.

Both the town council and the Heart of Witham Preservation Group have been making efforts to protect them.

However, Historic England has refused to list the railings, stating they date to the early 1900s and are not rare enough or of much interest in terms of design.

The unwritten rule is that structures dating from before 1850 will be given consideration. After that period rarity, condition and design quality are given more weight in deciding to list something.

Following a meeting on Monday, the town council says it will now try to clarify who owns the railings and will look into whether it can negotiate their retention as part of the Gimsons homes plan.

Meanwhile, the Heart of Witham group is pleading with residents to not pull down temporary fencing put in place by developers Bellway after it was granted planning permission to build at the Gimsons site.

The metal fencing was first seen laying flat across a pathway last Wednesday and less then 24 hours after been put back in its upright position, it was laying flat again.

Co-founder Rebekah McGrane said: “Whoever is doing it might think they are helping the cause, but they’re not.

“We’ve always done things the right way and there’s a risk that this could be associated negatively with us.”