Sy Osyth Priory, Essex.
St Osyth Priory is one of the most important collections of historic buildings in East Anglia but is in a poor state of repair after years of neglect. Our client’s aim is to find a sustainable future for a Scheduled Ancient Monument, 22 listed buildings and 154 hectares of land which includes 93 hectares designated as Grade II on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest where at least a third of the park had been ravaged by mineral extraction. As part of a multidisciplinary team, Liz Lake Associates’ role was to contribute to proposals for enabling development that would help to fund the restoration of the buildings and the parkland.
The project was landscape led with early involvement in the siting of new residential development and replacement buildings in the park. This was informed by extensive ecological surveys and historic landscape studies which have been undertaken and reviewed over ten years. Drawing on Liz Lake Associates’ extensive experience in working on heritage landscapes, the proposals are based upon the protection, conservation and restoration of remaining historic features complemented by new proposals to improve the financial and ecological long-term sustainability of the estate.Seven planning applications were submitted to Tendring District Council for new residential development, the rebuilding of follies and lodges, a visitor centre and function room and the restoration of the park. Prepared by Liz Lake Associates in partnership with other members of the project team, the application included a statement of significance, a comprehensive Conservation Management Plan for both the park and the Priory precinct, extensive ecological and tree surveys, a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment that formed part of the Environmental Statement and landscape proposals for each area of development.