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Building in South Ockendon under threat after English Heritage removed its listed status

A much loved building in South Ockendon is now under threat after English Heritage removed its listed status. Bentons Farm, which dates back to the eighteenth century, has been the source of much controversy in recent years with local residents fighting to protect it and see off a planning application which would have seen the site become an asbestos processing business.

Now local residents are concerned that having had the protections lifted, the building is now at risk of demolition.† Thurrock Council was consulted by English Heritage following a request from the farmís owner to have its listed status removed.† However the Council failed to consult with ward councillors or the Ockendon Concerned Residentsí Action Group (OCRAG), which has spearheaded efforts to save Bentons Farm.† As a result, no objection was lodged and the building has now been delisted.

Jackie said ďThe council knows very well that the community cares much about Bentons Farm.† It is the duty of the planning department to consult the community when an application for delisting is submitted. Otherwise there is no point in having these protections in the first place.

I have heard from local residents who are outraged by the councilís failure to oppose the de-listing of this site or to notify them that this was being considered. They are very concerned that the building will now be demolished and a piece of our Heritage will be lost forever, the planning department must do better.Ē


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