Manchester-based AEW Architects has finally netted planning permission for its design of the new Southend-on-Sea Museum
According to one source, the local authority then ‘sat on the application’ for 16 months. There was also a last-ditch legal challenge against the scheme by the the Clifftown Conservation Association.
Submerged into cliffs overlooking the Thames Estuary, the proposed £35 million project was won by AEW following a three-stage competition process in March 2009 and includes four galleries, educational areas, a café, a restaurant, a shop and a planetarium.
Steve Burne, managing director said: ‘We are delighted that Southend-on-Sea Museum has been granted planning permission. Having spent a great deal of time on the design and consultation process toensure that the museum was fitting for its prominent, historic location, we now look forward to the next phase of this exciting project.’
Andrew Titterton, the former project architect at AEW Architects and now director at emerging practice Studio KMA added: ‘The new museum was a very special project to lead.
‘A combination of the unusual nature of the site, it’s many constraints and the ambition and brief of the council’s museum team ensured that this was one of the most enjoyable schemes I have ever worked on. The six month public consultation process alone was a fantastic experience. When completed, I believe Southend-on-Sea will be placed firmly back on the cultural map.’