A CONSERVATION area must be established in a historic town centre in order to protect it from developers, according to residents.

A bid to demolish a 19th Century house in Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, and replace it with a modern home was blocked by Epping Forest District Council at a hearing on June 20.

Residents and Buckhurst Hill Parish Council joined forces to oppose the proposal from Dr Sabu Jacob, saying the distinct character of area must be preserved.

Now there are calls to establish a conservation area in Queens Road, which would place tight controls on developers.

The Buckhurst Hill Residents Society (BHRS) and members of the Parish Council are to meet at the end of July to discuss the issue and formulate a strategy.

Tony Oliva, BHRS chairman, said: “It is amazing that at present no part of Buckhurst Hill is a conservation area.

“It means that out historical buildings currently have no protection.

“In theory, whole roads could be knocked down and replaced with modern buildings.

“If we want to protect the atmosphere of the area the only way we can do that is to apply for a conservation area.

He said that the group had been galvanised into action by the fight over the Queens Road property.

He added: “It just crystallised out conviction that we had to have some legal protection against the danger of something like that happening again. Buckhurst Hill Parish Councillor Gavin Chambers has been closely involved with plans to establish a conservation area.

He said: “I agree that Queens Road may indeed be a good option but there are many other areas worthy of consideration.

“The residents have worked extremely hard over the last year in securing open spaces for Buckhurst hill and a conservation area project seem the next sensible step to take with the correct consultation process.”

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