Last week you quoted Braintree District Council as saying that it “takes its responsibility as local planning authority seriously and operates a professional and transparent planning service.” 

Why then, in its planning report of March 19, 2019, relating to the Gimsons development, did it not specifically state it planned to remove the railings to the Witham Town Park which lies within the town conservation area? This matter was not considered by members of the planning committee as they were not told.

A petition with 1,138 signatures to “preserve and restore” the park railings was submitted to Braintree District Council. This was because the railings which are located within the Conservation Area are thus designated heritage assets and must be retained. 

The committee was later forced to review the planning application and was told in a report by their planning officer dated October 13, 2020, that while the park is in the Conservation area the railings are not. They offered no evidence. 

However in a slide presented at the meeting they stated that “It is unclear whether the railings are in the conservation area.” These are not examples of a professional and transparent service.

Dudley Chignall
Heart of Witham Preservation Group
Tudor Close, Witham