Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

High and Dry Home Plans for Landmark; Water Tower's Set to Become Unusual House

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

High and Dry Home Plans for Landmark; Water Tower's Set to Become Unusual House

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Black

ALANDMARK which has loomed over a Northumberland village for decades it set to get a new lease of life - as a five-storey family home offering stunning views of the nearby coastline. The disused water tower - a massive concrete storage tank supported by a set of stilts - has dominated the skyline in North Broomhill, near Amble, since the 1950s.

Most locals expected it to be demolished to make way for a new development, after it was sold at auction for pounds 15,000 five months ago.

But now plans have been unveiled to retain the War of the Worlds-style structure and transform it into an impressive new residence.

Draft proposals envisage a five-storey dwelling accessed via a lift, and topped by its own electricity-generating wind turbine.

Rooms would be developed inside the legs of the tower, with the old water tank turned into a master bedroom encircled by a balcony which will provide views across the coastline and countryside.

A draft pre-application scheme has been submitted to Northumberland County Council by London-based agents Suburban Studios, who are acting for the new owner of the tower.

The principle of turning it into a house has been given the backing of local parish councillors and county planning officials.

The tower went under the hammer at an auction sale in Yorkshire last October with a guide price of pounds 12,000 to pounds 15,000, after being put on the market by Northumbrian Water.

It sold for pounds 15,000, leaving local people wondering what the new owner had in store for a structure, whose appearance has split opinion in the village for almost 60 years.

Other disused water towers have been turned into homes or offices, but the development potential of the one at North Broomhill was said to be limited by problems of access to the quarter acre site on which it stands.

It was put up for auction after surviving a demolition plan eight years ago. Yesterday North Broomhill resident and local parish councillor Scott Dickinson said locals were pleased that the imposing structure was to be retained, albeit in a much-changed form. …

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