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Tuesday 2 February 2010

Concrete conversion in Cambridgeshire

Seen in the Cambs Times*

Historic Disused Water Tower In Fenland Village Could Be Converted To Luxury 3 Bed Home
13:39 - 01 February 2010
Disused water tower at Welney
Disused water tower at Welney
By John Elworthy

AN historic Fenland landmark - a disused concrete and steel water tower in the centre of Welney- could become a luxury three bedroom house.

The tower, built in the 1930s, has been bought by a businessman from Girton who paid £11,750 for it at an auction last year- more than double the expected sale price.

Stephen Drury, of GSM Ltd, has applied to West Norfolk Council for permission to convert the tower which he says has "clearly become an eyesore due to its dilapidated condition".

Artist's impression of the proposed elevations of water tower at Welney
But he says the tower, decommissioned in the mid 1990s, "is an historical piece of concrete work with significance" and he says water towers do not seem to attract the same hostility as radio masts, pylons and wind turbines.

Mr Drury says the overall design rationale "is one of honest conversion and correct choice of materials. Internal planning accepts the segmental nature of the space and uses its convenient module to produce internal spaces that work well".

The external framework will remain unaltered which ensures "the conversion doesn't simply mask the building and allows others to identify with its past use."

The existing concrete legs of the tower will remain visible and the emphasis will be to produce a design that has "a light and open feel to the area below the tank".

Mr Drury says the upper level will retain the concrete hand railing system as an historical note, and the level will be capped with a weathered zinc roof and cedar cladding to the walls.

"Positive feedback has been received from English Heritage on the proposal," he says.

On the ground floor will be a cloak room; n open plan kitchen and dining room on the first floor with a first floor mezzanine lounge; a second floor of shower room, bedroom, and the main bedroom at tank level. On the upper level will be a family room and terrace. 

BWTAS comment:

No doubt this proposal conversion has taken a leaf from the home of Jan Moreels and his much admired conversion of a concrete tower outside Antwerp. 


*note: we have pasted the content of the Cambs Times here in its entirety because of the increasing frequency that links become broken when newspapers do not keep their stories online for more than a few months. If you are the copyright holder and you object to this "fair use" please contact BWTAS and it will be removed. Nat Bocking, Gen. Sec. BWTAS.


Pie Master said...

This is not a Cambridgshire tower, but Nofolk's most westerly tower at Grid Ref TL 52576 93890.
It featured on the cover of the "The Welney Parish Action Plan" published in March 2008 and delivered to every household in the Parish.

The 30’ x 30’ plot of land for the tower, was sold by Messrs. G. F. W. to A. W. Services Ltd. on the 16th November 1935 for the construction of the water tower for the Isleham water supply. The tower was sold by Anglian Water in June 2006.

The new owner, unable to develop the tower commercially for bird watching, put the tower up for sale in early 2007 with a guide price of £50,000. It was eventually sold at auction on the 25th February 2009 for £11,750.

Skree said...

is this tower for sale?