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Colchester: Jumbo water tower sells for £190k

PUBLISHED: 12:12 29 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:17 29 May 2014

Jumbo, Colchester

Jumbo, Colchester

Jumbo water tower in Colchester town centre has sold at auction for £190,000.

The Grade II*-listed building, the largest Victorian water tower in England, went under the hammer at Allsop’s in London.

A proxy bid of £140,000 by the Balkerne Tower Trust, a charity which hopes to restore the tower as a museum and viewing gallery, failed to secure the building.

The trust has now said it will return £40,000 in donations given to it in a bid to buy the tower.

Brian Light, chairman, said: “The Balkerne Tower Trust wish to say an immense thank you to all our donors for their magnificent achievement. This demonstrates the huge depth of support that exists for our public interest plans for the magnificent Jumbo.

“We were hoping potential buyers would recognise that no viable commercial development has yet been devised for Jumbo, but we recognised that some might wish to speculate.

“We will continue to press for an end to 27 years of wanton neglect of this monument, and to oppose any development scheme which would damage Jumbo’s unique character.

“We would welcome early contact with Jumbo’s new owner.”

It is understood Jumbo has been bought by poultry farmer Paul Flatman, from Wormingford.

Former owner George Braithwaite, a developer who bought the tower for £330,000 eight years ago, said the issue was “a closed book” as far as he was concerned.

He had two schemes to convert the tower into a restaurant, offices and flats with a viewing gallery turned down by Colchester Borough Council’s planning committee.

He added: “I have wasted enough time of my life on this.

“The trust offered me £30,000 for it - they are in a dream world.

“Mr Flatman, if he is the new owner, used to be my neighbour and I like the fellow and am quite pleased for him.

“I am happy to be out of it all.”

The man arrested by police over a suspected murder in Bury St Edmunds on Thursday has been charged this evening.

Suffolk police have this evening confirmed that a man involved in a serious crash on the A11 at Barton Mills has died.

Claydon High School has been recognised for its sporting prowess by achieving the School Games Mark silver award.

Two junctions on the A12 near Kelvedon in Essex will be closed for three nights this week as bridge repair works continue.

Firefighters have been called to tackle a pile of wood and barn alight at a farm in Harleston this evening.

One of the biggest dates in Felixstowe’s summer calendar of events got off to a sun drenched start on the seaside this afternoon.

It’s the start of the school summer holidays, six weeks that are a time of both joy and pain for parents across the nation, Sheena Grant writes.

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