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Victorian Society adds Jumbo to top ten list of endangered buildings
9:12am Friday 18th October 2013 in News
A HERITAGE group has urged Colchester Council to reject the latest bid to turn the town's iconic Jumbo tower into flats, offices, a restaurant and a museum.
The landmark has today **been included in the Victorian Society's list of the nation's top ten endangered buildings.
To be eligible, the society says a building has to be at risk, whether from redundancy, neglect, demolition or, as in the case of the Jumbo Water Tower, the danger of insensitive redevelopment.
Chris Costelloe, director of the Victorian Society, said: "The Jumbo Water Tower is a vital element in Colchester townscape.
"We urge Colchester Council to reject the harmful application and to work towards a regeneration scheme that would preserve its integrity."
Since it was decommissioned and sold in 1987, a number of schemes have been put forward for Jumbo.
The latest was made by developer George Braithwaite who wants to divide the 110ft high building into 11 levels for offices, flats, a restaurant and a museum.
The plans would also see the water tank transformed into a museum and visitors given access to an observatory at the top.
However, the society claims the plans would destroy the views through the structure and it says Jumbo, which is shrouded with overgrown vegetation at its base and suffering from wind damage to the roof, is in need of essential maintenance.
Architect Simon Plater, who has worked on the project for more than 15 years, said: "We know the Victorian Society would like Jumbo to be preserved as it is.
"However, the building will fall down unless something is done to it."
The application is due to be discussed by Colchester councillors on October 31.
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