Old water tower to become holiday home

The water tower on Long Meadow Farm

The water tower on Long Meadow Farm

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Holidaymakers could soon stay in an old water tower in Burton Green after plans to convert it into holiday accommodation were approved.

The tower, in Long Meadow Farm off Hob Lane, will be converted into a two bedroom holiday house following the successful application.

The water tower on Long Meadow Farm

The water tower on Long Meadow Farm

There will be one bedroom on each floor after more floorspace is added to the building, and the exterior will be painted either white or cream.

Burton Green Parish Council voiced no objections to the plans, and Kenilworth town councillor George Illingworth (Con, Abbey), had described the plan as ‘interesting’ and deserving ‘careful consideration’ in a letter to district council officers.

However, officers decided to approve the plan under delegated powers, meaning they did not need to take it to the committee.

Before the plan was approved, the applicant wrote a letter to the district council which said: “The tower is deteriorating. It is constructed of reinforced concrete.

“The concrete is spalling and occasionally relatively large lumps of concrete fall from the tower.

“There are several options. The tower could be demolished but it would then be a loss to the heritage of Kenilworth.

“It could be repaired but this would be expensive and although removing the danger of falling debris would serve little functional purpose.

“The final option is to repair the tower and convert it into habitable occupation.

“Kenilworth is short of rural holiday accommodation and such a conversion would fill a need for further tourism in the area.”

A similar plan put forward in February 2015 was refused by the district council.

At the time, members said the development would ‘radically alter the scale and character of the original water tower structure, detrimentally affecting the character and openness of this rural locality’ because of ‘the extent of proposed extensions and associated bulk and mass projecting beyond the structural confines of the tower.’

The new application reduced the size of the extensions, which officers felt preserved the openness of the green belt area which the tower occupies.

Officers also said the smaller extensions will ‘better retain the character of the original water tower.’

The tower dates back to 1935 and supplied Burton Green and Kenilworth with water through gravity due to the tower being at a relatively high altitude. It became redundant in the 1940s when the bigger tower off Cromwell Lane was built.