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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 family of a missing Suffolk woman have “serious concerns” about her safety, police have said.

A formation of Lynx helicopters made a stop at Wattisham Flying Station today to mark the end of the aircraft’s distinguished 40-year career with the British Army.

A former head teacher from Saffron Walden who was found with “horrific” child abuse images has avoided jail.

A man from Bedfordshire has been arrested in connection with a ram-raid in Long Melford.

A man and a teenager from Stowmarket have been charged with robbery along with a series of other offences.

More than four thousand people have signed a petition launched by a concerned Mum, urging the county council to scrap a controversial consultation into cutting free school transport.

Ipswich Town Hall is preparing for its 150th birthday with a major celebration at the end of the month.

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