Residents oppose water tower plan

By Richard SmithRESIDENTS are opposing a plan to build an extension onto a redundant water tower in the heart of a prestigious housing estate.They are objecting to the redevelopment of the water tower at the former St Audry's psychiatric hospital site in Melton Park and warned the two-storey extension would dominate surrounding houses.

By Richard Smith

RESIDENTS are opposing a plan to build an extension onto a redundant water tower in the heart of a prestigious housing estate.

They are objecting to the redevelopment of the water tower at the former St Audry's psychiatric hospital site in Melton Park and warned the two-storey extension would dominate surrounding houses.

Fire regulations have meant the applicants, Mr & Mrs R Eskdale, of St Paul's Close, Aldeburgh, are not allowed to use convert all of the six-storey brick water tower.


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So they are seeking permission from Suffolk Coastal District Council to put up an extension around the base of the tower to help them convert the building into a four-bedroom house.

Planning consent has already been granted to convert and extend the water tower in to offices and a two-bedroom home.

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But the applicants said the approved scheme involved an impractical and cramped floor plan and it did not use enough of the tower to make the redevelopment viable.

Melton Parish Council has objected to the plan, telling the district council: "The design, style and proportion of this proposal are out-of-character and inconsistent with the surrounding buildings and, indeed, the whole estate."

Parish councillors added the extension would invade neighbours' privacy and deprive them of light in their gardens.

Melton Park residents, Karen Cass and Gavin Clunie, who are also opposing the scheme, said: "The house proposed is not subtle, it is ugly and not at all in keeping with the Clubhouse building or the tower structure."

Another resident, Imogen Chappel, added: "The proposed building is inappropriate in its scale, massing and design. It is overbearing and will overlook and dominate my garden. The new proposed building is considerably larger than the one approved in 2002."

Other residents were worried there would be insufficient car parking spaces for the owners and their visitors, but the applicants said parking problems would be alleviated if residents used their garages for parking, rather than as laundry rooms.

Suffolk Preservation Society said the plan was an "ingenious and attractive design to solve a difficult problem and make good use of an extraordinary and eccentric building".

Suffolk Coastal district councillors are due to make a decision on the planning application this month.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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