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Friday 8 April 2011

Horton Water Tower (Epsom): demolition applied for

London and Quadrant Housing Association, which owns the 12-storey Horton Water Tower, in Cavendish Walk, Epsom, have apparently applied to demolish the controversial building and replace it with plants and trees.

Nearby residents are divided, many favour demolition because it is an "eyesore" although other argue it should remain untouched because of its history and character. It should be pointed out that this water tower existed long before a housing development was built around it. Eventual demolition was never part of any application to develop the site and some had questioned the wisdom of this.

BWTAS receives many requests for assistance or a view on such matters to bolster both sides of the argument. Although our members are usually saddened by the demise of any water tower, generally BWTAS does not collectively issue opinions on specific planning or preservation matters such as application for listing, conversion or demolition because the views of our members are quite diverse. Some in BWTAS might find the demolition objectionable, some might not and accept it as a pragmatic solution. What we can do, however, is to raise awareness of the issues and encourage debate.

Reading this blog will prove that water towers have a rich history and cultural value and that many potential forms of reuse exist besides conversion into accommodation; from climbing walls to camera obscura. Water towers are a magnet for economic development and (as their detractors argue) for both social and anti-social activity.

Objections to the demolition must be made to Epsom and Ewell Council, before 14th April 2011.

10/01277/COU Full Planning Permission

Location: Horton Water Tower Cavendish Walk Epsom Surrey

Proposal: Demolition of the Horton Water Tower and change of use of the

site from water tower (Sui Generis) to landscape amenity space

(Sui Generis) (Description amended 30.03.2011).

Contact Officer: Mr John Robinson

Type: Q20 - Other, Change of use

1 comment:

Make Do Style said...

As residents we are not opposed to the tower because we think it is an eye sore but due to a number of valid reasons
1) Epsom & Ewell Borough council failed to have it integrated into a development and therefore no plans were made
2) It was built around and some houses are less than 10 ft away while a block of flats are only 2ft from the base floorplan of the tower.
3) The owners L&Q applied to build an additional tower on the existing tower in the attempt to sell off 4 luxury flats to recoup some money - this plan was rejected.
4) the original development paper clearly stated it would be demolished if no suitable use could be found for it.
5) Asbestos, maybe legionnaires and excessing pigeon droppings are all cause for concerns for residents due to the close proximity.
6) The local authority have never nor will they provide money for its upkeep or preservation.