Redundant water tower to become futuristic home

A FUTURISTIC conversion of a redundant Fenland water tower into a home has unexpectedly won approval from planners.

The decision by West Norfolk councillors means Stephen Drury from Cambridge can go ahead with his bid to turn the six legs, 19 metre high water tower at Welney into six levels of accommodation.

Mr Drury will use mezzanine floors to create additional space and it will end up comprising three bedrooms (one en suite), a shower room, family room, store, lounge, kitchen/diner, cloakroom and plant room.

Councillors on the development control board gave the scheme the go ahead despite a recommendation to reject it by planning officer Keith Wilkinson.

Agreeing it was a unique opportunity to convert “an existing, visually prominent, utilitarian building” he felt issues of access and highway safety “renders the development unacceptable.”

Councillors disagreed and gave Mr Drury the green light providing he can iron out county council highways issues and fulfil a number of other conditions.

The redundant water tower is set in the heart of Welney on the western side of Main Street and the north of the Grade 2* listed Church of St Mary.

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Welney Parish Council had voiced their objections to the conversion, claiming the home will overlook adjoining properties and adversely affect the look of the area.

“It would be even taller than the present structure and there is no garden or outside space,” they told West Norfolk planners.

The scheme was described as acceptable by English Heritage although they said they would consider it “a major enhancement in the setting of St Mary’s if the water tower were demolished wholesale.

“However the application must be considered on its merits in terms of impact on the church’s setting.”

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