A 101-year-old popular Aldershot landmark has been demolished after complaints from residents that it was a site for antisocial behaviour.
The Cargate water tower, decommissioned in 2004, was dismantled by South East Water, which is responsible for providing drinking water to the area.
Demolition of the 95ft Edwardian tower, which stood at the Cargate Service Reservoir site in Cargate Terrace, was unanimously agreed by the five members of Rushmoor Borough Council’s cross-party planning committee in February, despite five objections from residents.
Work started on September 15 and was completed by the end of the second week of December.
Reaction to the demolition of the tower, which was clearly visible from as far as the A31 Hog’s Back several miles away, has been mixed. Some are pleased to see the back of the rusting structure, which is said to have been a frequent site for antisocial behaviour, while others are saddened by the loss of a much-loved landmark.
Gordon Percy, of South East Water, acknowledged this, but said the time was right for the tower to go.
“We realise some Aldershot residents were very fond of this local landmark and will be sorry to have seen it disappear from local views, but it was time to let this grand old structure retire after many years of sterling service,” he said.
South East Water spokeswoman Jane Gould pointed out that many of those living in the area were not fond of the tower.
“It was one of those things that wasn’t the most attractive structure but it had been around for so long it was popular to some,” she said.
“People either loved it or hated it. Some were very fond of it and lots saw it as a local landmark but others in the immediate vicinity saw it up close and suggested understandably that it wasn’t the most beautiful structure.”
She added: “We were left with a choice, either to have to keep maintaining it at a cost or to demolish it.”
She also praised the lack of disruption in the tower’s removal and the patience of Cargate residents. South East Water took down the tower by using a grab arm with a reach of 92ft.