Hollywood star's home to be demolished

By Ted JeoryTHE former holiday home of Hollywood legend Douglas Fairbanks Jnr will be demolished to make way for 10 new flats.Tendring District Council's development control committee voted unanimously yesterday to approve a plan for the new flats on the Esplanade in Frinton.

By Ted Jeory

THE former holiday home of Hollywood legend Douglas Fairbanks Jnr will be demolished to make way for 10 new flats.

Tendring District Council's development control committee voted unanimously yesterday to approve a plan for the new flats on the Esplanade in Frinton.

The decision means the two white, flat-roofed art-deco houses built in about the 1930s will be demolished, prompting an outcry that the seaside town's cultural heritage was being eroded away.


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There had been calls for the buildings - one of which was said to be a favourite of the American star - to be listed, but councillors decided their architectural qualities were not high enough to warrant such protection.

Len Brooks, treasurer of Frinton Residents' Association, said: “We're very concerned about the way properties on the Esplanade are being destroyed for no good reason apart from making money.

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“These buildings used to be family homes and it now looks like we're just going to have to a new block of flats that will most likely be snapped up as holiday homes.

“I hope there will be some stringent requirements about the design of the new flats.”

Frinton and Walton Town Council had opposed the application from Lamaid Homes for two blocks of five flats, arguing the art-deco homes were of architectural interest.

Its chairman, Jeanette King, said the decision by Tendring District Council to grant planning permission was a “shame”.

But Peter Patrick, portfolio holder for planning on the district council, said the buildings' history were not that significant when it came to considering granting planning permission.

“We had to judge whether there was a strong enough case on purely architectural grounds to see if they were listable or not,” he added.

“Clearly, they were not - it seems there have been many alterations to them over the years and that affects the criteria. The Hollywood connection was not even mentioned in the discussions.”

Mr Patrick said he had seen the designs for the new flats and felt they were excellent.

ted.jeory@eadt.co.uk

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