Appropriate Use of Materials

Facing and roof materials should be selected from the range of regional materials characteristic of Essex, or of that part of Essex where the project is located. This means using those materials present on pre-20th century buildings in the locality. The traditional range includes red, yellow stock and white gault bricks, smooth rendering, black- or white-painted horizontal weatherboarding, plain clay tiles, clay pantiles, slates and thatch.

The use of clay pantiles should be limited to single-storey ancillary buildings. It is appropriate to use different facing materials on different houses in a development, and to use different materials on different parts of a house. However, feature panels of a different material – such as false half-timbering or vertical tile-hanging – are not appropriate (and also not characteristic of Essex). 

If different facing materials are to be used on a single house, the change from one to another should appear logical. Typically, different materials might be used on different storeys or in order to articulate different parts of the structure – such as a front facade or architectural feature like a gable triangle, bay window or plinth. Elements such as lintels and plinths can also be enhanced by picking them out in a different material, or through the use of decorative detail. Used in this way, material changes and detailing can help to ‘explain’ the building. 

Historic streets in Essex towns and villages invariably have a majority of rendered houses. If, as is desirable, the character of historic settlements is to be reproduced in new development, this high proportion of rendered houses should be perpetuated.

Page updated: 21/02/2018

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