Tapping into the disused water tower

AN imaginative plan to top Huntingdon s disused water tower with a state-of-the-art office block was given the go-ahead by Huntingdonshire planners on Monday. Officers backed the development in Brampton Road, near the railway station, although they have s

AN imaginative plan to top Huntingdon's disused water tower with a state-of-the-art office block was given the go-ahead by Huntingdonshire planners on Monday.

Officers backed the development in Brampton Road, near the railway station, although they have some concerns about the amount of parking planned.

If the A14 viaduct is removed, however, as proposed in plans backed by the county council this week, the area available for parking would be increased.

Members of Huntingdonshire District Council's development control committee heard that, although the proposed building would impact significantly on the surrounding landscape and important views, "because of the high quality of the design this impact will be positive".

Planners also welcome the proposed use of sustainable energy sources.

The tower, between Views Common and the railway station, was built in 1935 to provide pressure for 450 tonnes of mains water for the town. It has been disused since the 1970s and was sold by Anglian Water after a new larger water tower off St Peter's Road took over.

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The present owners, Fordham-based developer Landro Limited, can now go ahead with plans to convert it as part of a £3million office complex that should open next summer.

James Thomas, a partner at London-based Make Architects, who designed the building, told The Hunts Post that the hollow shaft within the tower would contain lifts and stairs, and the void formerly occupied by the old water tank would contain services for the building.

* The panel refused planning consent for up to eight gypsy caravans at St Ives Road, Woodhurst. But HDC will not take enforcement action against itinerant families there until the council has finalised its policy on sites for travelling families and identified suitable sites. That could take around a year, said head of planning services, Steve Ingram.

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