In these times of austerity it is heart-warming to know that the council still has dosh to spare to hand out to property owners in ‘conservation areas’.
Planning Committee is requested to agree
(a) That an Historic Buildings Grant of £1280 be made towards the cost of sash window renewal at 53 Thornhill Road E10.
(b) That an Historic Buildings Grant of £3600 be made towards the cost of sash window reinstatement at 23 Forest Glade E11.
(c) That an Historic Buildings Grant of £822 be made towards the cost of sash window reinstatement at 5 Grosvenor Rise East E17.
The full details here.
Are properties like these really ‘historic buildings’? Only in the sense that any private house represents the architectural style and values of the period when it was built.
I can see the point in giving money to buildings like churches or other places of worship, since they are often large, striking buildings and are also used by the public. I find it much harder to understand why a cash-strapped council is handing out money on a regular basis to owners of private houses in what are often the more expensive parts of the borough. Recipients of this largesse have in the past included The Forest School for internal fittings (this is a public school which is rolling in money and which in any case is not open to local residents for their enjoyment of its interior architecture). Another lucky recipient was the owner of what may well be the most expensive property in the whole of the borough (a large house in Woodford Green, just inside the borough border).
If you read the Planning Committee reports you’ll see that the same streets come up time and time again. It’s no surprise, for example, to see Forest Glade E11 in the list.
This is a delightful and obscure cul-de-sac of large houses overlooking forest land on a street which I suspect few local residents have ever been on. A couple of years ago
an Historic Buildings Grant of £1532.28 was made towards the cost of reinstating a timber fence, gate, and a tiled front path at 11 Forest Glade Leytonstone E11.
Local organisations which lose their funding and council employees who are made redundant will have the consolation of knowing that when times are hard there are always those beautifully restored sash windows and timber fences to cheer everyone up.