CAMPAIGNERS have launched a petition calling for an “important” part of Witham’s history to be preserved.

The Heart of Witham Preservation Society is calling on Braintree Council to secure the long-term future of a set of railings around the town park by giving them a makeover.

The group says the railings, which are more than 100 years old, have been badly neglected and fear they could be lost forever when dozens of homes are eventually built on the nearby Gimsons site.

Bellway Homes has outline planning permission to build 78 homes on the land and is expected to remove the railings under the current proposals.

But campaigners insist there is no need to remove the railings and there is also no permission in place yet to do so. 

Their petition adds: “The park and the railings are an important part of Witham’s history. In fact, as part of a park which is within a conservation area, they are a heritage asset.

“They also make the park a safer place for users of all ages, enable the council to shut and lock the park at night if required, and they make the park ideal for community events as it is easy to implement security measures due to it being fully enclosed.

“We believe that removing them would be a disaster for the people of Witham and could ultimately spell the end of some of our community events.

“We are therefore asking Braintree Council to not only protect the railings, but to give them the proper care and attention they need to survive.”

The Heart of Witham Preservation Society has been set up to oppose Bellway’s 78-homes scheme.

They insist the railings are based on the town park site itself and cannot be removed as the developer would not have the correct permission to do so.

Bellway is awaiting a decision on a new planning application which if approved, would give the green light for the homes to be built.

To view the petition, visit and search ‘preserve Witham town park railings’.