Well loved Ashby landmark gets new lease of life
A well-loved Ashby landmark is set to be reborn after an 18-month fight for life.
The Ashby Water Tower in Moira Road could now be converted into a unique home after being given the green light for conversion.
The 50 ft listed tower has in recent years been used for storage by Ashby Town Council – but now after a complex planning process could well be transformed into a family home.
The owners and Ashby-based property advisors Fisher German have won permission after overcoming initial objections from English Heritage and the Victorian Society as well as a decision to refer the matter to The Secretary of State for approval.
On top of that they had to gain change of use and planning permission.
Now the town council is marketing its property to potential developers and it is attracting “encouraging interest”.
Alan Hardwick, senior planner at Fisher German’s Tamworth Road office, said the 18-month process meant that the Tower’s future would be secured.
“It has been a very long and quite complicated process but very worthwhile,” he said. “There is no doubt that the tower is a really fine structure but it has outlived its original use. It had been unused for several years except as a storage unit and in its original form it had no relevant use.
What we have done is proposed a scheme which maintains the integrity of the original Victorian structure but added to it in a way that will make a really fabulous home.
It is absolutely right and proper that buildings with real merit should be protected but rules have to be applied with common sense – and that is what has prevailed here.”
The town council has won approval to transform the tower into a two or three bedroomed home.
A modern and distinct three-storey extension will allow the creation of a staircase to serve rooms created in the tower, while a second, two-storey extension will provide further bedrooms and living space.
The redundant tank will be removed and replaced by a glazed light well, while the two-storey extension will also let in light.
The stairway extension will be blended into the original structure by the use of green walls – modular cladding wall units which are then planted in suitable fauna. The walls not only allow structures to blend but which are also good insulators and attract other flora and fauna. Hardwick added: “We fully understood the affection in which the tower is held – and that only spurred us on to create something which would ensure it had a long and relevant life.”
The property is now being marketed by Fisher German and has already received interest – with several people keen to undertake a 'Grand Designs' style project.
John Coxon, leader of Ashby Town Council, said: “The tower was a redundant building which can now, with some tender loving care, be transformed into a lovely family home. We were concerned that with the ravages of time the building would have become more of a burden on the tax payer, whereas now we plan to invest some of the funds into the town cemetery.”
For further information contact Alan Hardwick on 01530 412821 email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Click here to read cases studies of other projects undertaken by the Fisher German planning team.