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Wednesday 16 September 2009

Plans for Aldeburgh Water Tower Conversion

Priors Hill Water Tower in Park Road, Aldeburgh was built in 1871 for the benefit of the town by the Garrett family, the Victorian philanthropists who owned the Leiston Works. Disused since the 1980's, Northumbrian Water sold the tower at auction in 2007 for £407,000.

At present brickwork is falling out from the oversailing courses under the tank and extensive preservation work is urgently required to the Grade II listed structure.

BWTAS has had sight of preliminary plans the present owner, a pharmacist, has commissioned for converting the tower into two flats for their children which requires removal of the existing tanks and its internal ironwork supports (the tower's façade does not carry the load of the tank).

Both flats will have ground floor quarters in a one story extension surrounding the base of the tower on all four sides in a minimalist, moderne glass cube. One flat will use the upper portion (from the mid-section up) creating a roof terrace with a new cupola and the lower portion will have double height rooms overlooking the base extension, likely using the extension's roof as a balcony. What may give concern to the architects and the planners is the opening of window apertures in the infills of many of the arch details, most of which will be facing south and west, and the addition of a small rooftop structure altering the shape of the tower when viewed from a distance.

There has been much wonder locally about access to the tower as it presently sits in the middle of a garden but it appears that at the time of construction, Aldeburgh Town Council gave a 15 foot wide easement over the hospital car park for maintenance access, presently unused, which will require some amendment to the car park to enable a new entrance. If that is done, there will only be space for two cars at the base of the water tower for the occupants.

Local residents and neighbours we have spoken to have concerns about the nuisance of what would be a major construction project and the lack of privacy from their sudden visibility to new neighbours and the likely detriment to their already battered property values. Although BWTAS does not take a position on such matters, it is evident from the plans that the architects have been sensitive to these issues and no doubt amendments will be made reflecting expert advice and representations, as is usual in the course of planning applications, which we must stress have not yet been submitted.


Two planning applications have been made to Suffolk Coastal District Council for:




You can search for details of the applications at:

1 comment:

Nat Bocking said...
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