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Historic Kent water tower facing demolition

A proposal to knock down the Sheerness Water Tower and replace it with a car park has been strongly criticised by the Victorian Society.

The Water Tower on Trinity Road in Sheerness was built in 1863 to provide water for homes and businesses on the Isle of Sheppey. After 100 years of service it was declared redundant in 1960 and has now sat empty and deteriorating for more than 50 years.

The tower, which was de-listed in 1988, changed hands last year and is now owned by London developer, Cedar Holdings, which claims it is unsightly, dangerous and not fit for conversion to a new use.

'Although no longer a Grade II-listed building the Sheerness Water Tower clearly remains an important historic landmark and must be retained,' said James Hughes, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'Examples of successful water tower conversions can be found all over the country and the Sheerness tower is not beyond repair.'

Government planning guidelines mean development within a Conservation Area must be seen to preserve or enhance the character of the area:

Mr Hughes added: 'It is hard to see how knocking down an attractive historic building to make way for a car park will preserve or improve this part of Sheerness. Demolishing the water tower would be short-sighted and extremely wasteful.'

The Victorian Society has written to Swale Borough Council urging it to refuse consent for demolition

The Society would also like to see the building properly secured against vandals, theft and the elements.


Friday 13 January, 2012

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