A new development in the long running saga of Brook House in Tiptree, Essex has opened the possibility for some good news. As had been reported here before, the lovely red-brick house in the heart of Tiptree was subject to an application to demolish from the owner who claimed that it was beyond repair.
However, photos taken recently show that the house is actually in very good condition and pressure from heritage organisations such as SAVE Britain’s Heritage have led to a spotlight being shone on the plans.
It’s now been reported that the application has been withdrawn. It’s the slow, piecemeal loss of fine houses such as this over the last fifty years which has left our towns all the poorer visually. Hopefully there will now be discussions where the starting premise is that the house should be restored as an important part of Tiptree’s architectural heritage.
It seems that, despite the claims of the owner/developer of Brook House in Tiptree, Essex, English Heritage haven’t said that the house should be demolished. Following on from the earlier story (Another house at risk from a developer: Brook House, Tiptree, Essex – 25/11/09) a local resident has flagged up a new story with EH now saying that although they believe the house to be in poor condition they have not said it should be demolished.
John Neale, English Heritage team leader for Essex, has confirmed that they are still examining the application – leaving the statements of the owner in his application to demolish looking somewhat precarious. Let’s hope that EH, and Colchester Council listen to the concerns of the local residents and Tiptree Parish Council and not only refuse the demolition but also serve an urgent works notice to save this interesting part of the local architectural heritage.
It’s such a depressingly familiar pattern; a beautiful old house with grounds, falls into a state of neglect and is then bought by a developer. With absolutely no incentive to maintain the house it slowly slips into a downward spiral of decay and vandalism until the inevitable request for demolition is presented to the council. And it’s happening again.
Brook House in Tiptree, Essex is a classic, grade-II listed, red-brick Georgian village house lacked an owner after the last member of the family died and now after being owned by a developer it has unsurprisingly reached a rather sad state. The developer might be disappointed that no-one has yet burnt it down but nonetheless he had requested permission to demolish and replace it with several new houses saying that the house is beyond repair – all backed up by a survey which was commissioned by…the developer! What’s perhaps worse is that English Heritage have also sided with the developer and agreed. I despair. What is the point of EH if they fail to stand up when buildings are threatened like this?
Anyway, if you live within the area, please contact Colchester Council and ask them to not only refuse this vandalism but also to serve an enforcement notice to repair this lovely part of Tiptree’s heritage.