Jumbo Water Tower, Colchester

Colchester’s skyline at risk from insensitive redevelopment


Standing 110 feet high, Jumbo (or Balkerne Water Tower as it is more properly named) is the largest remaining Victorian water tower in Britain.It was built in 1882 by borough surveyor and engineer Charles Clegg in the Romanesque Revival “Campanile” style.

Decommissioned and sold in 1987, Jumbo has since had a string of owners and a number of inappropriate planning applications have been made.These have been consistently refused, but in May this year an application was submitted to convert Jumbo into flats.The plans propose glazing over its soaring open arches, destroying the views through the structure that are such a unique feature of the building and Colchester town centre.

Shrouded with overgrown vegetation at its base and suffering from wind damage to the roof, Jumbo is in need of essential maintenance.

The Jumbo Water Tower is a vital element in Colchester townscape.We urge Colchester Borough Council to reject the current harmful application and to work towards a regeneration scheme that would preserve its integrity.


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