Planning permission has been given to restore a former committee room at Clacton Town Hall.
The room, most recently used as the Housing Reception, is due to be converted back into a meeting room space as part of Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Transformation Project.
Last night (Tuesday, 19 January) TDC’s Planning Committee approved an application for Listed Building Consent, giving the proposals the go-ahead.
Under the scheme the room’s original parquet flooring, some of the wall panelling, plasterwork and other features would be restored – while new features such as lighting, power and network connections would be installed.
The Planning Committee had previously deferred the proposal and asked for more details to be submitted as part of the application, rather than being secured at the conditions stage, but yesterday approved the additional work to the Grade II-listed building.
Carlo Guglielmi, TDC Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Resources, and who is overseeing the Transformation Project, welcomed the decision.
“This piece of work allows us to restore a beautiful building to much of its original state, and at the same time provides an excellent meeting space for the council’s main future committee room,” Councillor Guglielmi said.
“I can’t wait to see and indeed use the completed space, which I am sure will be appreciated by all who come into it.”
Overall TDC’s Transformation Project aims to improve the way it delivers services to the community and incorporates four strands of work – office, people, customer services and IT.
It has already seen the refurbishment of council offices at Pier Avenue, Barnes House and Northbourne Depot, while Westleigh House has been demolished to expand the High Street car park. Work on Clacton Town Hall is ongoing.
Other aspects include improving customer service access, IT connectivity, and allowing staff to work remotely or from home.
Councillor Guglielmi added: “Overall the Transformation Project is doing well; while Covid-19 caused some set-backs, it has also provided us with some opportunities in terms of getting work done, and I am pleased with its progress. In particular our early work to empower staff to work remotely or from home has proved critical to our ongoing working during the pandemic.
“Once completed the Transformation Project will see better work space and working practices for TDC, making us more efficient in our service of the district.”