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Save town's heritage call

By This is Essex  |  Posted: February 17, 2009

conservation CAMPAIGN: Matthew Vesey

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A CONSERVATION society is being launched in Brentwood to defend the town's remaining heritage.

The group is the brainchild of Matthew Vesey, former director of Brentwood Town Centre Partnership, who campaigned to save historic High Street buildings from demolition.

Mr Vesey's bid to save three Georgian properties and in turn spare the more modern Sir Charles Napier pub failed and the buildings are being knocked down as part of the £6million High Street improvement scheme.

Now Mr Vesey wants to set up Brentwood Conservation Society to retain what other heritage is left in the town.

He said: "I would hope a conservation society would prevent further erosion of the conservation area, as otherwise there will be few buildings of quality left within the High Street and surrounding areas.

"When you look above the shopfronts along the High Street, the degree of reconstruction during the mid to late 20th century becomes apparent, which undoubtedly belies the history of the town," he said.

"With my links with The Georgian Group and Save Britain's Heritage, plus my dialogue with Essex County Council's historic building advisor team, I wish to channel thoughts and opinions so that due consideration is given to the remaining historic structures and streetscapes when the local and county authority are proposing road or development projects and also when considering those submitted to them by other applicants."

Early indications certainly look good for the society, which has already attracted interest from residents on the Gazette website www.thisistotalessex.co.uk.

Anyone interested in joining should contact Mr Vesey by emailing matthew.vesey@watts-int.com or calling him 0207 280 8114.

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    Henry McGhee, Brentwood  |  February 20 2009, 6:31PM

    The only way to stop our heritage being taken away would be to stand as councillors in the next elections. It doesn't seem to matter to current councillors about the views of heir constituents, and as long as they get back-handers it doesn't matter whether a building is of historic nature to the town or not, it's coming down! This current council needs to be vetted very carefully and, if necessary legal measures should be taken to overturn them as they are not doing what the majority of the town want and ignoring our wishes (New Cinema project for example). At the same time roads and pavements are in a state of disrepair and they should focus getting the basics right before coming up with grand schemes that are costing us money. Remember these councillors are only in power for a very short time, yet their decisions last a lifetime. Time to protest I think!

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    Nikolaus Pevsner, Castle Hedingham  |  February 18 2009, 2:51PM

    Come on all you good people of Brentwood who attach any value at all to your heritage make contact with Matthew.