Kent

Sheerness water tower demolition rejected

sheerness water tower
Image caption The Sheerness Water Tower on the Isle of Sheppey has not been used for more than 50 years

The proposed demolition of a Victorian water tower and pumping station in Kent has been rejected by councillors.

Developers had been seeking permission from Swale Borough Council to knock down the tower in Trinity Road, Sheerness, to make way for a car park.

The planning committee voted by 15 to 1 to reject the application on the basis that the "prominent and attractive building was a heritage asset".

The tower provided the Isle of Sheppey with water until 1960.

'Irreversible harm'

The Victorian Society had written to the council urging it to refuse consent for demolition, calling the plans "short-sighted and wasteful".

Cedar Holdings, which owns the tower, had claimed it was "structurally unsound" and of "no special significance".

But area planning officer for the council, Rob Bailey, recommended its refusal on the grounds the demolition "would cause significant and irreversible harm to the character of the Miletown conservation area".

He added that he was not persuaded by the information submitted with the application that the building was beyond repair or incapable of restoration or conversion.

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