General => General Chat => News => Topic started by: colin haggart on November 18, 2011, 22:53:22

Title: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: colin haggart on November 18, 2011, 22:53:22
I've scanned this from this weeks Sheerness Times Gaurdian.

(http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk90/colinhaggart/Sheppey%20photos%202011/Watertower.jpg)
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Riding With The Angels on November 20, 2011, 21:58:28
I wasn't aware a listing could be taken away! Surely buildings are listed by virtue of their age and antiquity combined with their relative uniqueness. I know of many buildings that are 'listed' yet have been allowed to fall into disrepair and are now beyond saving.

How does this happen? Is foul play at hand here?

Suddenly it's purchased by a consortium of developers and loses its listed status and can be demolished! It's an outrage.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on November 21, 2011, 06:57:40
Just out of interest, what would you guys suggest should happen to this giant pigeon loft and who do you feel should pay for what you might suggest. I would imagine that many people who live opposite this eyesore would be glad to see the back of it and would prefer the look of some new and clean buildings.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: JohnWalker on November 21, 2011, 09:12:49
Like I said on the other thread about this building - it's just the type of building that companies like Weatherspoons sympathetically renovate and turn into successful business venues - plus the drinks and food are well priced  :)

They would probably keep a lot of the remaining fittings as part of the decor.

If you haven't already got a Weatherspoons in Sheerness - it might be worth contacting them.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: sheppey_bottles on November 21, 2011, 09:20:44
As I said in the other thread, next door and within roughly the same grounds and grouping are the Trinity offices used by the council at present. The council are moving out of here to the new 'Gateway' in the old Woolworths building in the main high street shortly, so I should imagine that will also be redundant soon. When you think about it rather than using a high street ( Old Woolworths site) store as the Gateway building they could have converted and used the water tower and Trinity buildings for that purpose and much more maybe.

See here for a lovely old picture of both buildings on the site..

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=2797.msg33336#msg33336

And a street view of the area now...

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=trinity+sheerness&hl=en&ll=51.439322,0.764564&spn=0.001712,0.88028&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=12.605358,28.168945&vpsrc=0&hq=trinity&hnear=Sheerness,+United+Kingdom&t=h&z=10&layer=c&cbll=51.439322,0.764564&panoid=huYAxPSnCeH7M8dtKBfvaw&cbp=12,259.7,,0,-14.41
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on November 21, 2011, 10:19:43
The old view is really nice and made even better by the fact that there are no houses opposite in Trinity Road but sometimes in a modern world, with modern world requirements and costs, it isn't possible to re-create the past. Don't get me wrong, I'm someone who's lived on Sheppey all of his 64 years, lived his childhood in Sheerness and is so interested in Sheppey's history that I'm on this Forum, but I do despair at times.

Can you imagine how much extra it would probably cost to keep those buildings externally at least, still looking like that but made suitable inside for modern day living, and who would pay those costs, Sheppey's rate payers or a developer. Its the developer issue that I have watched with interest in recent years. We have several buildings in Sheerness, in various states of decay, which developers have shown an interest in and in the case of the Seaview pub have done a good job of replacing with some nice new buildings. Yet there are others, such as the Dockyard church and the Water Tower, where objections by people such as the Sheerness Society have made buying and improving the sites so restrictive and budget breaking that they just don't bother. Consequently, for many more years than is necessary we have to continue to look at continually decaying buildings, that are well past their best, because some people can't bear change.
It seems to me that before a developer is now able to decide on wether to buy an old building in Sheerness, he now needs to sit down with many people on Sheppey and ask them how they would like him to spend his money, not theirs, and how much aggro they are going to give him if he won't do it their way. The result as we have seen with the Dockyard Church and the Water Tower, is many years of producing free-range pigeons.
And before anybody gives the argument of Shurland Castle and how wonderful that now looks, which I totally agree with, after a conservation body fortunately renovated it - has the money spent been re-couped after two years on the market - no, is it still empty - yes, will it gradually fall into disrepair again - possibly. 
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: colin haggart on November 21, 2011, 19:36:04
In answer to your question, Minsterboy, make it into a museum, money from the lotery to fund the change.
There are two museums I know, bt they both need more room.   
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on November 21, 2011, 20:00:11
Fair enough, I've no problem with that, so why haven't those people that want it to stay looking as it does, from the outside at least, done just that and got a campaign together and applied for Lottery money.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: sheppey_bottles on December 21, 2011, 18:55:34
In our local paper the 'Sheerness Times Guardian' this week a planning application has gone in to Demolish the Water tower and pumping station which is in a conservation area.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on December 21, 2011, 19:42:08
Mr. Bottles, you will probably find that the whole of Sheerness is classed as a "conservation area", although what exactly they're conserving is debatable given the current state of Sheerness.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on December 22, 2011, 07:20:47
No doubt even if it became a burnt out shell there would still be those campainging to keep it that way, given the derelict state of parts of Sheerness in the name of posterity I often wonder why the Council don't hire the town out as a film set for war films.
Sometimes people have to accept that some buildings/areas have to move on with progess. There was a time when the Trinity Road area was a series of lovely fields on the edge of Sheerness, which were then built on and spoilt to create first the Council buildings and then Trinity Road itself, presumably people in those days were happy to see these developments because it meant improved conditions. That is now about to happen on the same site and for the same reasons, why is it so hard to accept this time round. There's no doubting that Sheerness badly needs cleaning up but it won't happen by hanging on to derelict, overgrown sites and memories that aren't going to re-occur anymore than we are going to grow younger.

If I had my way, we would put new housing on all these old sites, making Sheerness look clean and tidy again and at the same time stop developing on the fast diminishing countryside outside of the town - that's where preservation energies should be spent!
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: hutchy on January 03, 2012, 21:05:49
I find it hard to understand Minsterboy, it seems to me, he thinks knock something down because its old, build new houses to accompany lots of unused and unwanted others, as Sheerness is in his opinion beyond help and a total mess, then the best improvement is to destroy yet another town centre landmark, whilst also seeming to have forgotten or been too busy running down Sheerness to have noticed that Shurland Hall is under offer for 1.5 million. So I can't really form a constructive understanding of his thinking. There are many facts he is obviously unaware of regarding the water tower that will soon come into light, from everything from past planning applications to approved and stamped requirements. Whilst not saying too much at the minute, I hope in the very near future to see a change of attitude.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on January 04, 2012, 07:53:08
For Hutch to call the Water Tower a town centre landmark beggars the question, what kind of landmark, clearly it stands out but why? Some buildings do have value for their looks and are worth saving but come on, that monstrosity! And do the rest of Sheerness and indeed Sheppey, agree with the sentiments of a small minority, has anybody asked them, who are the Sheerness Society speaking for? A small minority of people thought that Tracy Emin's crumpled and stained bed was a valuable piece of art but I doubt a majority would of.
If the majority of people in Sheerness said that they wanted the Water Tower to remain there you wouldn't here from me again. But I rather feel that we have a small minority of people who seem to have decided that they speak for Sheppey as a whole and because ordinary citizens can't be bothered to give alternative opinions, the Council feel inclined to cede to the demands of those who shout loudest every time.

Clearly I can only form my opinions on what I know, which is very limited, and how I feel and if, as Hutch suggests, there are those such as he, that have superior knowledge, then why not put that into the public domain so that us, or perhaps just me, that might have alternative views can form better judgements. Or is it simply a case of keeping it to yourself so that you can more easier win another stay of execution that satisfies the opinions of a few but is not necessarily supported by the majority.
I would also ask the question, when as you presumably would of known, you knew a developer was planning to buy the site, did you make it clear what objections that you would be putting in his path so that he would have a fair opportunity to not purchase it.

Finally, as I am clearly not party to the knowledge that an offer has been made on Shurland Hall, then I am overjoyed to hear it. The money spent on a building that is recognised by the majority as of truly historical significance, will not have been wasted. Interestingly as well, if the Water Tower is saved and turned into whatever the Society want for it at the developer's expense, I wonder if an Open Day was held, if it would attract the same crowds as turned up for the Open Days at the Shurland Hall.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: kyn on January 04, 2012, 08:15:16
I have to say I am one of the minority that find this building attractive and worth keeping  :)

Can I remind you all that there are guidelines to the forum, and unpleastentness is not accepted on here - before this gets out of hand.

We are all entitled to our opinions and we all have a right to stand up for what we believe in, lets keep it to the proper channels though!
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on January 04, 2012, 08:35:18
My apologies Kyn, having just re-read the Guidelines I realise I had previously missed the piece that states that the Forum is based on facts and not opinions, which clearly my replies were.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: kyn on January 04, 2012, 11:53:24
Opinions are fine as long as they do not invoke a war and this thread has the capabilities of invoking a war  :)
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on January 04, 2012, 12:31:35
Fair enough, I'll say no more on that subject.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Sheppey Souvenirs on January 04, 2012, 20:56:25
For Hutch to call the Water Tower a town centre landmark beggars the question, what kind of landmark, clearly it stands out but why? Some buildings do have value for their looks and are worth saving but come on, that monstrosity! And do the rest of Sheerness and indeed Sheppey, agree with the sentiments of a small minority, has anybody asked them, who are the Sheerness Society speaking for? A small minority of people thought that Tracy Emin's crumpled and stained bed was a valuable piece of art but I doubt a majority would of.
If the majority of people in Sheerness said that they wanted the Water Tower to remain there you wouldn't here from me again. But I rather feel that we have a small minority of people who seem to have decided that they speak for Sheppey as a whole and because ordinary citizens can't be bothered to give alternative opinions, the Council feel inclined to cede to the demands of those who shout loudest every time.

Clearly I can only form my opinions on what I know, which is very limited, and how I feel and if, as Hutch suggests, there are those such as he, that have superior knowledge, then why not put that into the public domain so that us, or perhaps just me, that might have alternative views can form better judgements. Or is it simply a case of keeping it to yourself so that you can more easier win another stay of execution that satisfies the opinions of a few but is not necessarily supported by the majority.
I would also ask the question, when as you presumably would of known, you knew a developer was planning to buy the site, did you make it clear what objections that you would be putting in his path so that he would have a fair opportunity to not purchase it.

Finally, as I am clearly not party to the knowledge that an offer has been made on Shurland Hall, then I am overjoyed to hear it. The money spent on a building that is recognised by the majority as of truly historical significance, will not have been wasted. Interestingly as well, if the Water Tower is saved and turned into whatever the Society want for it at the developer's expense, I wonder if an Open Day was held, if it would attract the same crowds as turned up for the Open Days at the Shurland Hall.
The History of the Tower , or pumping station as it would be better described is not well documented. This is true of many industrial or municipal buildings built for purpose and in more recent times without grandeur.  This makes it easy to dismiss such architecture as unimportant, or redundant allow it to slip into disrepair and create a good argument for destruction. When such a building, has the potential to have been created by Engineers, Architects or Builders of National Importance do we not have an obligation to ensure this is not the case before sending in the wrecking crews?
With the Historic Dockyard so close, and the building so important in the development of Sheerness from a Parish of Minster to a Town in its own right do not underestimate how significant this structure is.  At the time this building was built, very few Engineers had the expertise to create such a system which required knowledge not just of  Architecture but Steam Engines and  Pumps as well as foundation work in less than ideal land conditions.
  It is well documented that shortage of water had prevented the viability of Sheerness Docks expansion despite the well at what is now the Sheerness Steel works. The Battle of Trafalgar 1805 had brought dockyard review back to the fore and John Rennie had designed dockyard improvements before his death in 1821. His sons George and John Rennie went on to complete his vision by 1826 but little is known about how the lack of water was suddenly overcome. John Rennie (later Sir John Rennie) is known to have visited the Pumping Station in 1862 after the pumphouse and tower collapsed, the cost for repair 3000 pounds. Sir John Rennie retired in this year which would have made this one of his last commissions. George Rennie was responsible for similar Pumping installations in Chatham Dockyard which I am sure no-one would allow to be demolished. I have collated much information on the water system at Sheerness, the dates of the three wells, the timing of the connection of Sheerness to mains water, the Cholera and Typhoid data, the delivery of water by the Co-operative by Donkey, and lack of supply all indicate that the Pumping station (and Tower) were most likely primarily for the Dockyard Developments. The connection with John Rennie and sons is further likely when consideration is given to the need for Boulton and Watts steam (beam) engine and pumps.
  John Rennie was commissioned as preferred engineer by Boulton and Watts for the Albion Flour Mills, a project which dramatically reduced the cost of the daily loaf, and saw the introduction of cast iron cog wheels in place of the previously used timber. Many of Rennie's projects were water pump related, especially where land reclamation and drainage was required.
   The timing, expertise, figures on well and pump yields combined with documented domestic supply problems, all indicate that this installation was for more than domestic supply. The size and height of the tank more indicative of supply to the steam engines than to supply mains pressure (0.45 psi per foot above sea level i believe).
  The pictorial evidence of the missing tank long before the connection to the mainland in 1960, and timing of domestic connection in 1864 all contradict any claims this is just a derelict old Water Tower.
There are many more points, and references too numerous to mention here, but I hope this in some way lays a case for thorough Heritage Surveys before any thoughts of demolition. Remember most of the required proof may not be in the public domain so if we adopt an "its not fit for purpose so get rid of it" attitude a lot of opportunities to regenerate through Heritage and History will be missed. Yes we need progress but we also need to respect our past.     
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: hutchy on January 09, 2012, 19:59:04
I'm too busy, Minsterboy  no comment.

Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: sheppey_bottles on January 25, 2012, 15:08:20
Our local newspaper The Sheerness Times Guardian has an article this week which states how the Tower came to gain and lose its listed status...

(http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l218/Sheppey_bottles_John/water.jpg)
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: sheppey_bottles on March 03, 2012, 19:02:07
In our local paper 'The Sheerness Times Guardian' this week it stated that a decision was to be made by the council on Thursday as to if the go ahead would be given to demolish the old water tower..does anyone know the result?

BUT...We were down the town today and as we came back to the car park behind Trinity offices I could not believe what I was looking at..Sheppey's new land mark ' The leaning tower of Sheerness'. We all knew that there was a bit of subsidence to the building but just take a look at it now. I have taken the picture with a lampost in view so you can see the angles...

(http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l218/Sheppey_bottles_John/leaningtoweropt.jpg)
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: kyn on March 03, 2012, 19:06:17
I had noticed the subsidence, I think this gives the answer from the application!
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on March 07, 2012, 08:21:00
I notice in today's Sheerness Times Guardian that pretty much as expected, Swale Borough Council have refused permission for the Water Tower pigeon loft to be demolished. I find it ironic that in the same paper most weeks, SBC are regularly looking at ways of trying to regenerate Sheerness town centre and yet they refuse permission for this eyesore to be demolished and be replaced by building that would greatly improve the area.

It was also interesting to note the comments of one "keep it there" campaigner who ended her comments on the success of the victory with the statement "yes, its been saved but what happens next". What will happen next, if, as the owner suggests, he walks away from the site in despondency, is that the victory will ensure Sheerness has to endure this eyesore for many more years to come, especially as a photograph this week would suggest that one of the buildings is subsiding.

Obviously the majority of following postings on this matter will be to celebrate this "victory", but the campaigner's comment mentioned above needs answering, or is that it, job done, let's move on to blocking any change to any other old building in Sheerness. Its all right this minority group doing their best to revert Sheerness back to its glory days and trying to re-create old photographs, but they seem to be missing the point, in that most of the people with the money capable of buying the buildings are only interested in moving them forwards, not backwards.

History, and in this case, future history, will prove which of us was right or wrong, but I hope that in even ten years time, the Water Tower isn't still a derelict pigeon loft because of this "victory".
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: kyn on March 07, 2012, 08:58:16
Well I am glad it has been retained, but I do hope that it can be utilised instead of being left to decay and creating an "eyesore" due to its dereliction.  Maybe now people can put some effort into putting pressure on the owners (council?) to use the building and improve this area of Sheerness.  If this building was utilised and cared for then the old Alldays shop may be cleaned up or removed which will improve the whole area.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on March 07, 2012, 10:43:51
Kyn,

Unless I misread it, the developer is the owner of the site, not the Council, he bought it a few years ago for 600,000. He has hinted that he might just pull out and try and re-sell it, although given the limitations imposed on it by the Sheerness Society and SBC, it could be hard to find someone willing to spend his money appeasing them.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Lofty on March 07, 2012, 15:48:23
The Sheerness Water Tower, or as we knew it was a combination of several buildings, to the front the Pump Engine house then the  yellow brick Water Tower Block  The Boiler House and the tall Chimney.

We now have learned that the Water Tower Block is subsiding, it is in the direction of the sealed Well, could it be that the Well head was not protected enough?

Once a building is know to be subsiding, it will be declared unsafe.  Who would pay to have it underpinned, knowing how near it is to the Well? The owner now has a legitimate reason to apply to have it removed for safety sake.

It can only be assumed that the front building did in fact house a Beam Engine, judging by the height of the building, it only dates back to 1891, but is externally sound, but internally  there are false floors that were only intended to be for a short period.

Now we are thinking that there is just one building to be saved, it could be used as a Museum as it is much smaller  than the pair in previous applications.

I remember when we applied to have the scale models of the Dockyard Buildings on show  in the Library, several of the Societies combined to bring it about.

If once again they could combine a Museum or meeting place could be formed.

There is always the expense to do this, firstly the work to bring back to usable condition, the floors are unstable the electric is condemned, all this would have to be payed for, and there would be the running costs, electric  and it would have to be charged Rates.

I know that all the Societies have no funds, and membership and raffles are the only income.

Loyal members are always willing to give their time as attendants and helpers.

The main thing is would they get the support of the people of Sheppey?

If only one owner holds the Freehold of all of the places in Trinity Road he will no doubt apply for High Density Blocks of affordable housing.

 Nobody would want to pay  Rates if it was a shopping area.

It gives thought to the Park Area in front and beside the Ex Council Offices, when it was grassed over it had the gravestones  removed to stand against the end wall of the building, would this area be included in the development?

Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: sheppey_bottles on March 08, 2012, 16:27:33
From what I have read the building could still be demolished if a good detailed planning application is put in to regenerate the site. The picture I took recently shows a big list to the building and I cannot see this being repairable, although the front part could well be incorporated into a future design and I hope it is. The trouble is where is the money coming from? The Victoria failed to sell at auction despite having permission for conversion to many flats and a defunct Steel site is looming as well, the three interested parties do not want it for steel production I hear. Let us not forget the docks as well, chances are they will change beyond all recognition in the near future. We just cannot support and keep them all and as we all say...where is the money coming from? Just where is the money coming from? Some good news though, I hear through the grapevine Shurland hall may be sold! Can anyone confirm that.

 (http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l218/Sheppey_bottles_John/leaningtoweropt.jpg)
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on March 08, 2012, 19:32:26
Mr. Bottles, if money could be found, for me it would be better spent on the old Council offices next door before they fall into disrepair, rather than the wreck pf the Water Tower.
A rather fanciful dream I know, but wouldn't those old offices make a fantastic Museum of Sheppey, set in those gardens and with a car park at the rear. As well as plenty of room for a permanent display of all things historic Sheppey, there are other rooms for lectures and slideshows, etc.
Now that would be a project worth supporting.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: kyn on March 08, 2012, 19:43:20
A conversion to a museum is often mentioned on the forum regarding historic buildings falling into disuse, but there is absolutely no money in museums.  All the ones I know struggle to attract visitors and generally struggle to get by.  The best option for a lot of these buildings at the moment would be community centres, these can be hired out for all sorts of different uses and seem to be quite popular at the moment.  This may not be viable in all areas but I really think something like this is the best use of any building at the moment.  I am more than happy to see this building converted into offices or housing, as at least it retains the shell of the building, but due to subsidence it is unlikely the rear part of this building would be saved, which then reduces the potential uses of the front building due to lack of space.

It is all very difficult to make work however you look at it!
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: colin haggart on March 08, 2012, 19:49:28
I've scanned this from this weeks Sheerness Times Gaurdian.

(http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk90/colinhaggart/WaterTower.jpg)
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on March 09, 2012, 05:56:01
Kyn,
I guess you're right in what you say and when you add that to what Mr Bottles said, the newspaper headline takes on a more ominous tone, its here to stay, but does that mean we're now stuck with its in its current form for many more years. I still maintain that the Sheerness Society got it wrong in this case and the best option for Sheerness would of been to demolish this particular building and if they keep blocking all improvement projects Sheerness is going to end up looking really run down because the people that have the money will simply stop coming. They need to think out the financial probabilities before they run to SBC every time, as do SBC themselves before they allow them to be coerced by the Sheerness Society.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: sheppey_bottles on March 09, 2012, 09:29:14
In the past there was a town centre manager I believe, who had a vision of what was required for the well being and prosperity for the town as a whole, I think this is lacking right now. Sheerness needs to know where it is heading before decisions are made as to what is removed or retained. With this vision developers can see how they fit in to the overall scheme of things and then step in with money to help fulfill the dreams and get a good return on their investment of course. With the likes of Tesco, Morrisons etc taking sales away from town centres a new vision is needed of what a town cwntre like ours should offer to keep it thriving, and I feel something could be in the offing if we play our cards right on this one. In our local the Sheerness Times Guardian this week an article states that a Town team is being set up to put forward a case for Sheernes to become a Portas pilot area. Mary Portas has turned round many an ailing company over the years and those who have seen her programmes on the telly cannot help but be amazed at what she avhieves, well done Mary. In a nutshell if this scheme is used in Sheerness it could help achieve the vision we need to get the town centre up and running vibrantly again and then we can decide how things like the water tower fit in to the grande scheme of things.  

PS...  We can then look at how we save the old tile works building at Queenborough ( Borough hall)....yet another one to think about saving maybe!
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 09, 2012, 10:24:02
The problem is that a lot of local people just don't care. We do as we recognise what we are loosing. Yes I might have been a bit contrary about the dock yard here and the removal of old buildings. That said I believe that we do need to save a lot of what is being demolished to be replaced with junk build and junk architecture. Canterbury seem to have got their backsides into gear and most of the modern stuff is a huge improvement of the junk that it replaces, however Canterbury is a major tourist spot and Sheerness is not. Sorry if that is harsh but it is well meant, I do like the place a lot. Most people want to do their shopping in one hit under one roof in one go and fondly remember the days of traipsing along the High Street. Thing is in those days we did a lot of shopping on a daily basis, now it is once a week or once a month. I do aggree that these big chains have too much power and sway over local councils, they promise jobs (never as many as promised) they promise to help in the community (a veritable two edged sword). All the time old buildings such as this are left to drop. It was mentioned that a certain bar chain might be interested. So you would gain a soulless drinking place that would have a theme (anyone really want an Irish theme pub in Sheerness?) and no real input to or from the community it purpots to serve. A museum sounds good, in theory, but as Kyn said they need bucket loads of cash for little or no return. So why not sell this building to a developer to turn into low cost flats? I am sure that would benefit the community more than some pub. A community center sounds great but who would fund it? How about the KHF buy it and set it up as a meeting room/library? Again not much benefit to the community but at least it would be of some use. It could even be sold off and converted into a Mosque....................

I really don't have a solution, like many I don't want to see it torn down. I fear though that it will be and all we will have left are som pics. Sadly it's called 'progress'.

S4.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: sheppey_bottles on March 09, 2012, 10:38:47
 Sentinel S4 have a look back over this thread.... a developer 'already' owns the site and wants to develop it and because of a knock back is saying they may pull out, They invested 600,000.00 of there hard earned money into the site six years ago.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 09, 2012, 13:11:48
Sorry that I repeated something already stated. Call it brain fade. For 600.000 they could have turned this into some nice flate, underpinning the back of the building included..... S4.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Riding With The Angels on March 09, 2012, 23:38:55
Rejected

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-17299069
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: kyn on March 21, 2012, 08:37:55
Is this the well?
(http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii34/batgirlphotos/KHF2/2012-03-17131121Medium-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 21, 2012, 10:22:55
The well is more probably beneath the engine room at the base of the tower. At St Augustin's Hosp at Chartham they had two wells, one beneath the engine room and another, still in use, remote. The second was converted to electrical pumping very early on, when motors became reliable, as the costs of running another boiler and pumping engine were huge. The remains of the original reciprocating pumps were in the engine room well right up to the day the place was demolished, they might even still be there. I find it interesting that the tank vanished at about the same time that steam loco's went and the third rail came into use on the railway. Another clue to me for this is the brick work of the tower. It is very similar to some, not all, existing ex-LCDR stations. In fact I have just been to here;  http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=8662.0  It is called the Blue Town Railway. In reality it was the original terminus fo the Island, however please go and look at the photos Conan left. You will see the very same brick work, double arches, cornices and scale. I believe that the leaning tower was built by the railway, it then has some historical merit as the rest of the station went many years ago, however it is falling down. It would cost thousands to save and what could be done with it? Very difficult to convert to dwellings, modern insulation levels would be almost impossible to achieve. Most of you know me and my enthusiasm for railways, the LCDR in particular. That said I think we have to face facts here and let the tower go, before it lands on someone, save the Rennie part of the building by all means but the tower is a money pit.


I left some really provocotive posts here that have, thankfully, been deleted (good work Kyn and thanks). It was not my intention of provoking a war, just a healthy debate. I hold both Minsterboy and Sheppeybottles in high regard and hope that we can all meet one day at a KHF meeting.

Sentinel S4.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: kyn on March 21, 2012, 10:57:26
There are three wells on this site, two large and one that was a later addition and is a borehole rather than a wide shaft.  I did initially think there was a well in the sinking corner and some very large pipes run straight down there.

(http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii34/batgirlphotos/KHF/IMG_0234.jpg)
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Lofty on March 21, 2012, 14:57:03
The external Well was as seen by myself and all the other workers at the Tower  in Trinity Road, who can confirm that the Well was housed in a Building some forty feet from the flank wall in the picture, my own recollection was that the large pipes did not reach the top at ground level, they went through the well shaft wall some ten feet below the top, then passing up inside the building to the Head Tank.
If you are acquainted with pressure pipes, you will note that these are sealed with bolted sealing rings that will withstand the pressure of the Pump, up to the tank.

Water leaving the Tank are gravity only, that is the reason of the tanks being built so high.

The building over the Well was demolished long after we left and we transferred to Sittingbourne.
The Manhole in the picture is the same but in the wrong place, if in doubt you can ask to see the six inch concrete by twelve feet in diameter disc that the manhole sits on.

The Well is in line with Tower just after the two buildings join about thirty to forty foot out.

If I were more mobile I would show the exact spot.
Take a Diviner Stick over it.

Better still ask the older Staff.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 21, 2012, 15:05:03
Thanks Lofty. It is nice that someone who knows the site can provide the correct answer. Were there pumps in the out building? How deep are the bores? Was anything left when you did?

The old well at St Augustine's had a three throw crank (120 deg cranks) driven by a belt from a lineshaft and engine. The rods were about 320 feet long to get to the pumps in the sump. It had all been long out of use due to contamination when I knew it. Also you could still hear the water cascading from the adits in wet weather, well a few months later anyway..

S4.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: kyn on March 21, 2012, 16:30:00
A write up I did a few years back for my other website.
The water tower is actually two buildings with the second building at the front being added at the later date. The first building was probably built between 1840 and 1850, the second was built in 1891. There are three wells within the building which were tested in the 1940's. Here are the findings:

1. Name of pumping station Trinity Road, Sheerness
2. Water derived from (geological formation) London Tertiaries and Chalk
3. Normal quantity abstracted from site gals/day 200,000
4. Nature of treatment Chlorination
5. Estimated reliable yield gals/day 200,000

No.1No.2No.3.
6. Top of well or boreholeO.D.688
7. Diameter of well or borehole7ft7ft14in
8. Depth of well or boreholeft304335810
9. Length of aditsyds.3737-
10. Rest level below surfaceftNo279279
11. Pumping level below surfaceftpumping450450
12. Pumping rateg.p.h.plant9,0009,000

There is a 14-inch borehole at the bottom of No. 1 well, to a total depth of 384 feet from the surface. There is an 18-inch borehole at the bottom of No. 2 well, to a total depth of 805 feet from the surface. A heading at a depth of 200 feet from the surface connects wells No. 1 and No. 2.
The section of No.2 well and borehole is as follows:

Made Ground2ft
Drift44ft
London Clay291ft
Oldhaven Beds21ft
Woolwich Beds26ft
Thanet Sand117ft
Chalk303ft
Total804ft

After the pumping station was built there was a lot of criticism due to it not being able to pump enough water for the population of Sheerness. In may 1897 Councillor W. J. Penney. J.P, acquired permission from the council to have a reservoir built at Halfway, situated behind Halfway Houses. At a council meeting Councillor Penney requested that a surveyor be sent out to give an estimate of the cost of building the reservoir and for pipes to be laid between the reservoir and the pumping station on Trinity Road. The reservoir was to store a supply of water for fourteen days consumption, the current storage was for only four hours consumption. Mr John Copland had said during the meeting that had the water board built a reservoir at Halfway first there would have been a large enough supply that there would be no need for the proposed works at all, thus saving a lot of money.
In April 1988 the building was removed from the Department of the Environments List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, it had been a Grade II listed Building. The site was still regarded as an important historical building but was no longer under protection.
A proposal was put to the Council in September 1992 that the old water tower be refurbished and used as the local heritage centre and a tourist information centre. Swale Councils Leisure Services Committee agreed to look into the proposal, it was hoped that with the plan being agreed there would be support from heritage groups such as English Heritage and the English Tourist Board, unfortunately this proposal was not accepted and the building was left derelict for many more years.
Over the years many proposals have been put forward for use of this site, one specific one was to use the site for housing, a free house, and shop. This proposal was accepted in October 1996, after around 3 years trying to get the proposal accepted and iron out the details the applicant walked away from the proposal citing reasons "resources, time and energy." (Letter dated from applicant May 29, 1997.)
In 2000 part of Mile Town, Sheerness, was classed as a conservation area, the water tower falls within the conservation area, the local council has said "given its scale and appearance, makes a significant contribution to the character and appearance of the existing conservation area and the existing street scene." The Conservation Officer had commented during previous planning proposals that "the water tower is an extraordinary piece of fanciful late Victorian architecture, arguably the most important, non-listed building in the conservation area."
A housing application was lodged in 2002 but due to design issues it was withdrawn.
Another housing application was proposed in 2005, it was for 29 flats and maisonettes within the existing building with an adjacent new build and 29 spaces for parking. Planning permission was granted on 11 August 2005 and seems to be going ahead.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Lofty on March 21, 2012, 17:06:23
The small building that was over the Well Head, had no pump or anything remaining in it, the top of the well was level with the ground no protective wall or railings, if you were there in the dark afternoons it could be quite possible to walk in there and fall down the well it was wide open.

It is interesting to learn that there were in fact three wells we had always assumed that there was in fact only one as the combination of the depths within one well, there had been many trenches dug to see if any other pipes were ever conected from other wells but none came to light, only the connecting pipe from the Tower to pass under the School and Allens Clothes shop to near the Clock Tower, where an underground tank held water for the Steam Road Vehicles to take on water.

The front pump house had no Pump Engine there, it had long since been removed.

The two buildings were mere shells, the Island Boroughs of Sheerness Rural Council, Queenborough Council and Minster Council had combined at this time as Swale Borough Council, the two buildings had inner floor levels added to store the Maintenance materials, that were brought in from the former storage places i/e the Queenborough Council Yard was a few doors from the Guildhall, the Minster Yard was at New Road Minster, here all the plants and shrubbery were grown in the Council Greenhouses for their parks and gardens. This area now is known as Worcester Close with flats and houses and the New Library.
There were several other buildings in the Sheerness Council Yard Trinity Road Depot  one was the Old Fire Station.

I could name all of those former places that were part of the old Boroughs. Even where the Refuse used to be disposed of on the Island.
But perhaps this is off topic.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on April 04, 2012, 08:21:53
I must admit, I had to chuckle on reading today's Sheerness Times-Guardian and the latest episode in the Water Tower saga. The MD of the company that own the Tower and it's site has suggested that those that were successful in preventing it from being demolished, now take the next step and stump up some money to see their unrealistic dream come to fruition.
Will we now see a deafening silence from those very vocal protestors this week or will they be raiding their piggy banks to offer some "real world" support to the owners - somehow I suspect that the second option is very unlikely.

I also note that the owners intend giving SBC the opportunity to buy it back and restore it themselves. Somehow, I also see that idea being a non-starter, because SBC like the action group, are only interested in someone else's money funding the restoration, not their own. Its a silly mess that in the mean-time, sees Sheerness saddled with an ugly wreck that does nothing for its reputation, simply because SBC allowed itself to be swayed by the protests of a group of people, buoyed by their own self-importance, who could not see what the financial implications of keeping the Tower standing were.

Hopefully the new Planning Laws that came into place last week will force SBC to take a more practical view in future because it includes a new section on developing town centres before greenfield sites. The document urges planners to: "Encourage the effective use of land by re-using land that has been previously developed (brownfield land), provided it is not of high environmental value". The only environmental value that the Tower currently has is as a pigeon loft!
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: isleansuz on September 06, 2012, 13:18:14
Quote
There will be a public consultation meeting tomorrow afternoon, Thursday at Sheerness gateway regarding what should happen to our water tower in Trinity Road. Please try to attend and air tour views. Cllr. Mark Ellen

Cllr Mark Ellen posted that to the Kent Messenger facebook page a short while ago.
There has been outcry online already about how it has been virtually ignored by the press, with no coverage or mention at all that people have noticed.
However I am aware that people "in the area affected" had letters put through their door last week.

https://www.facebook.com/SheernessTimesGuardian
Its on the "posted by others" section of the page.


Just thought I'd bring this to folks attention.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Sheppey Souvenirs on September 09, 2012, 22:41:30
I must admit, I had to chuckle on reading today's Sheerness Times-Guardian and the latest episode in the Water Tower saga. The MD of the company that own the Tower and it's site has suggested that those that were successful in preventing it from being demolished, now take the next step and stump up some money to see their unrealistic dream come to fruition.
Will we now see a deafening silence from those very vocal protestors this week or will they be raiding their piggy banks to offer some "real world" support to the owners - somehow I suspect that the second option is very unlikely.

I also note that the owners intend giving SBC the opportunity to buy it back and restore it themselves. Somehow, I also see that idea being a non-starter, because SBC like the action group, are only interested in someone else's money funding the restoration, not their own. Its a silly mess that in the mean-time, sees Sheerness saddled with an ugly wreck that does nothing for its reputation, simply because SBC allowed itself to be swayed by the protests of a group of people, buoyed by their own self-importance, who could not see what the financial implications of keeping the Tower standing were.

Hopefully the new Planning Laws that came into place last week will force SBC to take a more practical view in future because it includes a new section on developing town centres before greenfield sites. The document urges planners to: "Encourage the effective use of land by re-using land that has been previously developed (brownfield land), provided it is not of high environmental value". The only environmental value that the Tower currently has is as a pigeon loft!
Minsterboy, it is very naive of you to think that the"protesters" alone were responsible for preventing the demolition of the Pumping Station. Were you present at the planning meeting?. If you are so concerned as to the site being an eyesore, then why did you not put in a letter of support for its demolition?. I think that to criticise those that are vocal in expressing a desire to protect the Islands heritage whilst making assumptions that none of those objectors are active in seeking a solution to the admittedly neglected site is equally narrow minded. Nobody objects to the development of the site but some believe that we are purely custodians of heritage buildings and should treat the islands historical buildings with respect. The preliminary work carried out by Cedar Holdings around the site is not only very poor workmanship, but now seriously dangerous, which I feel gives full justification for preventing them developing the site further. The "pigeon loft" has similarly occurred through the developer removing the boarding up carried out to make the site secure. On this point are you criticising the objectors, developer, or Council?
  The council did not provide adequate notice of the public consultation, the STG reported on a developer meeting but did not mention any consultation exercise. As this would have been notified to the paper via press release it is right to criticise the fact that the same release did not mention the consultation. As someone that has been active in supporting the view that the Water Tower (Pumping Station) should be preserved, a business in the affected vicinity, and someone that has spoken at the planning meeting, would I not have expected to be on the list of those receiving one of the "letters" that are reported to have been sent out.
   As each of the development briefs would result in more shops, and loss of the Trinity Car Park, I expressed a view that all schemes were unsuitable. This view, based upon the number of already vacant shops, the imminent loss of more businesses in town with the Neats Court development opening, and the lack of Parking for Iceland, and the COOP along with the loss of their rear access. On this basis I do not feel that the schemes would benefit the area or the Town Centre. This area is the only available pocket of land capable of providing the catalyst for regenerataion in Sheerness. If we get this wrong then the Town is truly finished. Care Homes, more shops, and low grade apartments around a restaurant without parking really do not provide a solution.
   There are many ways in which this area could be developed, and of financing it, but I was not aware that it was back on the market.  Perhaps when or if it is, it may be worth devoting the time and Planning to resolving the problem. Until such time I, like many others will continue to be vocal on the matter and expect those in ownership, and tasked with the job to comply with their legal and moral responsibilities.  If the devoloper really wanted to, he could work with those "objectors" who may well be more supportive of assisting in finding a solution.
Finally, there are plenty of other available Brownfield Sites available, that are not in a conservation area. Swale Borough Council are more supportive now than ever of preserving buildings of Heritage value.  Whilst I appreciate that people may have different views on this matter Minsterboy, I do not think it fair to expect that this right should be constrained to those with the financial means to provide the solution.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: HERB COLLECTOR on September 12, 2012, 22:52:19
Trinity Road, Sheerness development, public consultation.
Old council offices, water tower site, old library.
3 possible options.
1- Demolishes some or all heritage.
2- Takes the middle-ground approach.
3- Retains all the heritage assets.
http://www.swale.gov.uk/trinity-road/ (http://www.swale.gov.uk/trinity-road/)
Consultation closes 30 September 2012.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: kyn on September 13, 2012, 07:22:08
So we have gone from one, to three historic sites being demolished!

Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on September 13, 2012, 11:59:29
While it's admirable that you guys keep banging away with your heritage hats on you really do have to face the fact that when it comes down to simple economics, you are in the minority. No developer is likely to want to purchase and develop the site if he is expected to spend the huge sum of money that would be necessary to retain and make good the Water Tower stuck in the middle. Whilst all three suggestions in my opinion, had their merits, in a time of recession, simply flattening the site and starting from scratch has to be the cheapest and most attractive bet, and quite frankly, would make an attractive parade out of an eyesore.
I imagine that in these cash-strapped times, an old building has to have some pretty outstanding and historical features before anybody, whether it be a developer, Council or charitable organisation, fund its repair and retention, and it's debatable whether the Water Tower has that status, despite the misty eyes of a few.

To continue on the economics theme, when next year Morrisons and hopefully, the other suggested outlets, open at Neats Court, its pretty certain that Sheerness will see even more shops being forced to close as shoppers desert the town in droves. Facing that out of town competition, its not only unlikely that new buyers for the empty shops will come forward but also likely that whole lines of heritage buildings along the High Street and Broadway will start to fall into disrepair, you'll be spoilt for choice!

So, to be quite frank, I think that to keep resisting schemes such as the three that have been suggested, you have every chance of seeing the Water Tower still languishing as a giant pigeon loft for many more years to come, which I imagine, would inevitably see it knocked down anyway because it represented too much of a safety issue.
Interesting times ahead, me thinks.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: isleansuz on August 06, 2013, 14:27:17

Quote
A survey carried out on a town landmark has revealed there has been significant movement to one of the external walls.

We reported in June how Swale council had ordered a report be carried out on the water tower in Sheerness and now it has been done there is unlikely to be any more news for some time.

The survey followed the launch of the Trinity Road Development Brief which aimed to revamp the whole area, including the former Alldays store, empty council offices (now occupied by Restoration Youth), car park and Island Partnership.

But since the council revealed its plans and a public consultation took place, there had been no suggestion about what might happen.

The survey of the 150-year-old building also recorded that the large amount of bird mess inside will need clearing up.

more through the link: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/times_guardian/news/survey-reveals-wall-problems-at-4320
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on August 06, 2013, 14:45:37
Gawd, why don't they just do as I've been saying for some time, knock the blooming thing down and get it over with. Clearly the eyesore is unstable and would take an awful lot of money just to get it safe and secure even before it could be used for anything. As for looking for other developers who might be interested in the site - why would they be - knowing damn well that whatever they propose, at their expense, will have to to be scrutinised by the "guardians" of Sheerness who have already caused us to be stuck with this eyesore for the foreseeable future.

The whole thing is becoming a joke.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Sentinel S4 on August 06, 2013, 16:15:17
Now I have to agree with Minsterboy (strange I know but it does happen from time to time). If these problems are that bad then knock it down. I know this is a turn round for me but if anything I am a realist. It will cost more to keep it standing than anyone wishes to admit, so just bite the bullet and demolish it.

S4.

.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Minsterboy on August 06, 2013, 16:44:00
Nice one S4, much appreciated.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: Sentinel S4 on August 06, 2013, 22:18:22
This will be a constant money pit for whosoever takes it on. I originally thought that a re-vamp and clean up was all that was needed. However if there is subsidence then the cost will go through the roof. Would it be the side closest to the well? If so then the well will need surveying and possible stabilising, that alone will not be cheap. A nice building allowed to rot...

S4.
Title: Re: Sheerness Water Tower Development
Post by: HERB COLLECTOR on October 06, 2017, 23:52:41
Plans to convert the historic water tower in Sheerness into flats have finally been agreed, three years after being submitted.

The proposals, (.......) are to redevelop the derelict tower in Trinity Road and build a new three-storey block next to it.


http://www.kentonline.co.uk/sheerness/news/homes-plan-for-historic-water-132877/ (http://www.kentonline.co.uk/sheerness/news/homes-plan-for-historic-water-132877/)

http://www.facebook.com/CllrCABeart/photos/a.1616745745267953.1073741829.1604520636490464/2004159953193195/?type=3&theater (http://www.facebook.com/CllrCABeart/photos/a.1616745745267953.1073741829.1604520636490464/2004159953193195/?type=3&theater)