Wivenhoe 'jumbo' meets opposition

A PROPOSAL to transform a redundant water tower in Wivenhoe into homes has been met with opposition. Tendring Hundred Water Services lodged the application, which could see the distinctive building transformed from a decaying Victorian shell into modern housing.

A PROPOSAL to transform a redundant water tower in Wivenhoe into homes has been met with opposition.

Tendring Hundred Water Services lodged the application, which could see the distinctive building transformed from a decaying Victorian shell into modern housing.

The building resembles Colchester's water tower, Jumbo, which was at the centre of a controversial battle over plans to transform it into luxury penthouses.

Work is set to start on Jumbo shortly after a Government planning inspector overturned a borough council rejection.


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The architects behind the design for the building in Tower Street, Wivenhoe, are the same company, which drew up the plans for Colchester's Jumbo.

Borough councillor for Wivenhoe Quay, Bob Newman, said residents under the structure would not be happy with the idea of having people peering down from above into their houses.

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He said: "I think the general feeling is that it should stay as it is. In planning terms you could end up with the same situation as Colchester – to turn it to flats would be a problem because everyone living round there will be overlooked.

"It is part of the Wivenhoe landscape which people take for granted but if you start to threaten that people realise what it is worth to them. You assume it would be there forever.

"My feeling is that it should remain as it is."

The proposals, which are to be decided by Colchester Borough Council, also include the removal of a water storage tank at ground level.

Jan Richardson, who lives at the Cross, with her garden backing onto the tower, said there was not the same affection for it as Colchestrians hold for Jumbo.

She said: "It is a very fine line that one has to run, it is grade-2 listing and needs looking after and one has to say, with that hat on, anything that stops it dereliction has to be desired.

"But do I want someone living in the water tower looking down on me? Probably not."

She added the building was a white elephant because it was in a poor state of repair inside.

No one from Tendring Hundred Water Services was available for comment yesterday.

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