Updated: Flats plan for Jumbo water tower rejected

Gazette: Updated; Flats plan for Jumbo water tower rejected Updated; Flats plan for Jumbo water tower rejected

PLANS to convert Colchester’s iconic Jumbo water tower into a penthouse, flats, a restaurant and offices have been rejected by councillors.

George Braithwaite’s designs for the Grade II* listed building were narrowly defeated at Colchester Council’s planning committee meeting, despite planners’ advice they should go ahead.

In a vote which went down to the wire, seven councillors voted to refuse the application, while five voted to approve it. In total 27 residents and five national societies objected to the scheme to convert the colossal water tower into ten floors, with a central staircase and inset glass windows between its supporting legs. The tower, which dates back to 1882, was last used in 1984.

Other opponents included Colchester MP Bob Russell and the Balkerne Tower Trust, which was set up in 1996 with the aim of preserving the building and turning it into a tourist attraction.

Its chairman, Brian Light, said: “These applications sweep aside local and national planning policies, strip Jumbo of everything of historic interest and cram this unique two-star listed building full of things Colchester has anyway.”

He was backed by ward councillor Henry Spyvee, who said: “Jumbo was built by Colchester people with Colchester bricks.

“It produced huge public health benefits. It came to be loved by Colchester. We have a chance now to own and preserve it.

“I cannot guarantee Mr Light’s plan will succeed, but its chance of success is where it should be – in the hands of the people of Colchester and district.”

Planners had said the scheme should go ahead, even though it would harm the building’s heritage.

They said the benefit of converting the Victorian water tower, the last remaining one in Britain, outweighed the damage that would be done to its character. But Liberal Democrats disagreed.

Councillor Jon Manning said: “We only get one chance to ruin our heritage. This is what we would be doing tonight if we accepted this.

“We would ruin the heritage and character of Jumbo.”

But Conservative councillors said they supported the scheme.

Dennis Willetts said: “It is a disgrace a building such as this is not being used. It’s falling into decay and we are being told how this heritage asset is now at risk.

“This is a sympathetic development which will change marginally the nature of our beloved Jumbo, but it has to be done, otherwise we will be here in 27 years looking at a pile of bricks.”

Comments (61)

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9:36am Fri 9 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

Hopefully the council will now serve a repairs notice on the owner and put right the damage caused by years of deliberate neglect. Owners of listed buildings have a legal responsibility to maintain them and the council have the powers to force an owner to carry out repairs and clean up the site if necessary.
Hopefully the council will now serve a repairs notice on the owner and put right the damage caused by years of deliberate neglect. Owners of listed buildings have a legal responsibility to maintain them and the council have the powers to force an owner to carry out repairs and clean up the site if necessary. DL1970
  • Score: 0

11:22am Fri 9 Sep 11

Feisty CBC says...

Don't forget your coupon for the competition ;)
Don't forget your coupon for the competition ;) Feisty CBC
  • Score: 0

11:23am Fri 9 Sep 11

Say It As It Is OK? says...

DL1970 wrote:
Hopefully the council will now serve a repairs notice on the owner and put right the damage caused by years of deliberate neglect. Owners of listed buildings have a legal responsibility to maintain them and the council have the powers to force an owner to carry out repairs and clean up the site if necessary.
As this council did in the cases of the Listed Severalls hospital buildings or the Defoe's house "Tubswick" all burnt down with no requirement by CBC to rebuild but they happily approved an application to build new property on the sites.

CBC planning committee also react totally differently when they are approving their own applications, eg; Cuckoo Farm Stadium. They dismissed the previous "planning conditions" that were designed to improve the infrastructure around the stadium.

Instead they put "their own" planning application through and ignored the safety concerns raised at the time, something they would not allow a private developer to do. These safety concerns are still evident but closing off a road is clearly the cheap option for CBC, irrespective of who is inconvenienced.

Perhaps the owner of Jumbo didn't react to the underhand tactics often used to get dubious planning applications passed!
[quote][p][bold]DL1970[/bold] wrote: Hopefully the council will now serve a repairs notice on the owner and put right the damage caused by years of deliberate neglect. Owners of listed buildings have a legal responsibility to maintain them and the council have the powers to force an owner to carry out repairs and clean up the site if necessary.[/p][/quote]As this council did in the cases of the Listed Severalls hospital buildings or the Defoe's house "Tubswick" all burnt down with no requirement by CBC to rebuild but they happily approved an application to build new property on the sites. CBC planning committee also react totally differently when they are approving their own applications, eg; Cuckoo Farm Stadium. They dismissed the previous "planning conditions" that were designed to improve the infrastructure around the stadium. Instead they put "their own" planning application through and ignored the safety concerns raised at the time, something they would not allow a private developer to do. These safety concerns are still evident but closing off a road is clearly the cheap option for CBC, irrespective of who is inconvenienced. Perhaps the owner of Jumbo didn't react to the underhand tactics often used to get dubious planning applications passed! Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 0

11:40am Fri 9 Sep 11

André says...

Having just read the article I am angered almost to the point of apoplexy with the local council. These mean spirited old cretins have once again made a decision that is fundamentally at odds with what the public want. Councillors should be there to represent the voice of the people from their respective consituent areas, not push their own agenda. Rather than modernising this decrepid eyesore the council has voted against the planning committee and gone for keeping this derelict, pigeon and rat infested blight on Colchester's visual landscape. I really hope that when the next round of local elections come about, people remember this and vote in some young fresh blood to this stuffy council. 27 Residents out of 120,000 object and the council decides with the 27. I think the names of those that objected as well as the 7 councillors that voted against the development should be named by the Gazette so we can all see who it is that is stiffling progress in this town. I notice that miscreant Why on earth is Bob Russell against this? Bob's heart is in the right place as he does spend all of his time championing local issues which one cannot fault, however he should be representing the majority and promoting what the people of Colchester want, and not want a tiny minority of the people of Colchester object to.
Having just read the article I am angered almost to the point of apoplexy with the local council. These mean spirited old cretins have once again made a decision that is fundamentally at odds with what the public want. Councillors should be there to represent the voice of the people from their respective consituent areas, not push their own agenda. Rather than modernising this decrepid eyesore the council has voted against the planning committee and gone for keeping this derelict, pigeon and rat infested blight on Colchester's visual landscape. I really hope that when the next round of local elections come about, people remember this and vote in some young fresh blood to this stuffy council. 27 Residents out of 120,000 object and the council decides with the 27. I think the names of those that objected as well as the 7 councillors that voted against the development should be named by the Gazette so we can all see who it is that is stiffling progress in this town. I notice that miscreant Why on earth is Bob Russell against this? Bob's heart is in the right place as he does spend all of his time championing local issues which one cannot fault, however he should be representing the majority and promoting what the people of Colchester want, and not want a tiny minority of the people of Colchester object to. André
  • Score: 0

11:44am Fri 9 Sep 11

André says...

please ignore the line "I notice that miscreant", I was editing my original comment but decided one of the councillors I was going to mention by name might find it defamatory so I've removed their name from the text..
please ignore the line "I notice that miscreant", I was editing my original comment but decided one of the councillors I was going to mention by name might find it defamatory so I've removed their name from the text.. André
  • Score: 0

1:26pm Fri 9 Sep 11

wellnow says...

it is reported as bid rejected.it should be latest in a line of proposals rejected by a set of moronic out dated hasbeens.begone.
it is reported as bid rejected.it should be latest in a line of proposals rejected by a set of moronic out dated hasbeens.begone. wellnow
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Fri 9 Sep 11

wellnow says...

crass decision in the extreme.
crass decision in the extreme. wellnow
  • Score: 0

2:26pm Fri 9 Sep 11

Boris says...

André wrote:
Having just read the article I am angered almost to the point of apoplexy with the local council. These mean spirited old cretins have once again made a decision that is fundamentally at odds with what the public want. Councillors should be there to represent the voice of the people from their respective consituent areas, not push their own agenda. Rather than modernising this decrepid eyesore the council has voted against the planning committee and gone for keeping this derelict, pigeon and rat infested blight on Colchester's visual landscape. I really hope that when the next round of local elections come about, people remember this and vote in some young fresh blood to this stuffy council. 27 Residents out of 120,000 object and the council decides with the 27. I think the names of those that objected as well as the 7 councillors that voted against the development should be named by the Gazette so we can all see who it is that is stiffling progress in this town. I notice that miscreant Why on earth is Bob Russell against this? Bob's heart is in the right place as he does spend all of his time championing local issues which one cannot fault, however he should be representing the majority and promoting what the people of Colchester want, and not want a tiny minority of the people of Colchester object to.
What a ridiculous argument. Yes, it is true that just 27 residents out of 120,000 wrote in with objections to Mr Braithwaite's proposals. Do you know how many supported them? Precisely one. Was that you? You have demolished your own argument, for the records prove that the defenders of Jumbo outnumber your side overwhelmingly.
You say you want names. You will find the names of those 28 people, the only ones who could be bothered to express their opinion one way or the other, on the CBC website (planning section). You should also find the details of how each councillor voted in the minutes, when these are published on the website in a couple of weeks' time.
If you want fresh blood on the council, why don't you stand yourself? You have at least shown that you are able to cobble together an argument, even if you are out of touch with local feelings, as demonstrated earler. This is more than can be said for wellnow, who seemes incapable of rising above mere abuse.
[quote][p][bold]André[/bold] wrote: Having just read the article I am angered almost to the point of apoplexy with the local council. These mean spirited old cretins have once again made a decision that is fundamentally at odds with what the public want. Councillors should be there to represent the voice of the people from their respective consituent areas, not push their own agenda. Rather than modernising this decrepid eyesore the council has voted against the planning committee and gone for keeping this derelict, pigeon and rat infested blight on Colchester's visual landscape. I really hope that when the next round of local elections come about, people remember this and vote in some young fresh blood to this stuffy council. 27 Residents out of 120,000 object and the council decides with the 27. I think the names of those that objected as well as the 7 councillors that voted against the development should be named by the Gazette so we can all see who it is that is stiffling progress in this town. I notice that miscreant Why on earth is Bob Russell against this? Bob's heart is in the right place as he does spend all of his time championing local issues which one cannot fault, however he should be representing the majority and promoting what the people of Colchester want, and not want a tiny minority of the people of Colchester object to.[/p][/quote]What a ridiculous argument. Yes, it is true that just 27 residents out of 120,000 wrote in with objections to Mr Braithwaite's proposals. Do you know how many supported them? Precisely one. Was that you? You have demolished your own argument, for the records prove that the defenders of Jumbo outnumber your side overwhelmingly. You say you want names. You will find the names of those 28 people, the only ones who could be bothered to express their opinion one way or the other, on the CBC website (planning section). You should also find the details of how each councillor voted in the minutes, when these are published on the website in a couple of weeks' time. If you want fresh blood on the council, why don't you stand yourself? You have at least shown that you are able to cobble together an argument, even if you are out of touch with local feelings, as demonstrated earler. This is more than can be said for wellnow, who seemes incapable of rising above mere abuse. Boris
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Fri 9 Sep 11

Boris says...

DL1970 wrote:
Hopefully the council will now serve a repairs notice on the owner and put right the damage caused by years of deliberate neglect. Owners of listed buildings have a legal responsibility to maintain them and the council have the powers to force an owner to carry out repairs and clean up the site if necessary.
Quite right, DL, well said. And if the owner fails to carry out the repairs, CBC can serve a compulsory purchase order on him. As the building has negative value, the price should not exceed a symbolic £1.
[quote][p][bold]DL1970[/bold] wrote: Hopefully the council will now serve a repairs notice on the owner and put right the damage caused by years of deliberate neglect. Owners of listed buildings have a legal responsibility to maintain them and the council have the powers to force an owner to carry out repairs and clean up the site if necessary.[/p][/quote]Quite right, DL, well said. And if the owner fails to carry out the repairs, CBC can serve a compulsory purchase order on him. As the building has negative value, the price should not exceed a symbolic £1. Boris
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Fri 9 Sep 11

jpsgranville says...

The Conservative councillor refers to it becoming a pile of bricks in 27 years. Jumbo has been standing proud and practically untouched for the last 128 years.
The Conservative councillor refers to it becoming a pile of bricks in 27 years. Jumbo has been standing proud and practically untouched for the last 128 years. jpsgranville
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Fri 9 Sep 11

wellnow says...

these are not forums for argument.they are for opinion.if you think your missives on hear bear any wealth of argument then you are a deluded fool.
these are not forums for argument.they are for opinion.if you think your missives on hear bear any wealth of argument then you are a deluded fool. wellnow
  • Score: 0

2:52am Sat 10 Sep 11

Boris says...

jpsgranville wrote:
The Conservative councillor refers to it becoming a pile of bricks in 27 years. Jumbo has been standing proud and practically untouched for the last 128 years.
I was there, and that particular councillor was just a joke, displaying his utter ignorance. An embarrassment to his own side.
[quote][p][bold]jpsgranville[/bold] wrote: The Conservative councillor refers to it becoming a pile of bricks in 27 years. Jumbo has been standing proud and practically untouched for the last 128 years.[/p][/quote]I was there, and that particular councillor was just a joke, displaying his utter ignorance. An embarrassment to his own side. Boris
  • Score: 0

8:44am Sat 10 Sep 11

jut1972 says...

So now the application gets resubmitted and the owner threatens legal action. CBC then waste more of our money...

2 stupid decisions in 24 hours, a new record.

IF Jumbo was accessible it would be a credit to the town but realistically what has the presevation society achieved since 1996? The prevention of any development on the site and the failure to purchase. This is just prolonging the inevitable and removing a benefit to the town.

Boris, not sure Andre is out of touch with local opinion on this, you are right there was only one letter of support but as you can see from the comments on here the majority would prefer something done rather than leave as is.
So now the application gets resubmitted and the owner threatens legal action. CBC then waste more of our money... 2 stupid decisions in 24 hours, a new record. IF Jumbo was accessible it would be a credit to the town but realistically what has the presevation society achieved since 1996? The prevention of any development on the site and the failure to purchase. This is just prolonging the inevitable and removing a benefit to the town. Boris, not sure Andre is out of touch with local opinion on this, you are right there was only one letter of support but as you can see from the comments on here the majority would prefer something done rather than leave as is. jut1972
  • Score: 0

9:10am Sat 10 Sep 11

Sdapeze says...

Do we really need to write letters of support? Are the planners really incapable of judging public feeling? Can they not see that the naysayers were unable to raise £20k towards the purchase of the building when irt was sold for £300k approx. There is no public stomach for public ownership. What I find distasteful is that the planning was decided on party political lines. The ya boo system. It's pathetic that such an important decision should be decided by children.
Do we really need to write letters of support? Are the planners really incapable of judging public feeling? Can they not see that the naysayers were unable to raise £20k towards the purchase of the building when irt was sold for £300k approx. There is no public stomach for public ownership. What I find distasteful is that the planning was decided on party political lines. The ya boo system. It's pathetic that such an important decision should be decided by children. Sdapeze
  • Score: 0

10:21am Sat 10 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

Sdapeze wrote:
Do we really need to write letters of support? Are the planners really incapable of judging public feeling? Can they not see that the naysayers were unable to raise £20k towards the purchase of the building when irt was sold for £300k approx. There is no public stomach for public ownership. What I find distasteful is that the planning was decided on party political lines. The ya boo system. It's pathetic that such an important decision should be decided by children.
Actually, the bid placed for Jumbo by the BTT was considerably more than 20K. Who says Jumbo should end up in public ownership? Jumbo has a Listed building status of Grade 2* which is almost Grade 1. The Councillors were absolutely right to refuse this application and uphold the status and protection that Jumbo's listing deserves.
[quote][p][bold]Sdapeze[/bold] wrote: Do we really need to write letters of support? Are the planners really incapable of judging public feeling? Can they not see that the naysayers were unable to raise £20k towards the purchase of the building when irt was sold for £300k approx. There is no public stomach for public ownership. What I find distasteful is that the planning was decided on party political lines. The ya boo system. It's pathetic that such an important decision should be decided by children.[/p][/quote]Actually, the bid placed for Jumbo by the BTT was considerably more than 20K. Who says Jumbo should end up in public ownership? Jumbo has a Listed building status of Grade 2* which is almost Grade 1. The Councillors were absolutely right to refuse this application and uphold the status and protection that Jumbo's listing deserves. DL1970
  • Score: 0

10:47am Sat 10 Sep 11

CuriousInColchester says...

Well it seems a shame to me that the plan was rejected. Ok so it sounds as though the Conservative saying it would be a pile of bricks is ignorant, and it probably will be still there, but what is the point of it being there if it's not accessible to people? It's an important piece of history, so it should be preserved, but not just left exactly as it is, it should be made use of in an accessible but sympathetic way. So what will happen now? Nothing.
Well it seems a shame to me that the plan was rejected. Ok so it sounds as though the Conservative saying it would be a pile of bricks is ignorant, and it probably will be still there, but what is the point of it being there if it's not accessible to people? It's an important piece of history, so it should be preserved, but not just left exactly as it is, it should be made use of in an accessible but sympathetic way. So what will happen now? Nothing. CuriousInColchester
  • Score: 0

11:49am Sat 10 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

CuriousInColchester wrote:
Well it seems a shame to me that the plan was rejected. Ok so it sounds as though the Conservative saying it would be a pile of bricks is ignorant, and it probably will be still there, but what is the point of it being there if it's not accessible to people? It's an important piece of history, so it should be preserved, but not just left exactly as it is, it should be made use of in an accessible but sympathetic way. So what will happen now? Nothing.
Ok, so nothing will happen. So what?
You've got to step back and look at this with a balanced view. No-one is saying Jumbo shouldn't be preserved, but at what cost? Destroying the building's historic fabric so it can still stand is not preservation. Infact, I would imagine if the plans were to ever go ahead the level of destruction and loss of character would such, that it would be de-listed, and that would be a huge loss to Colchester as a historic town. The reason Jumbo looks a mess is because of the attitude of the owner. Jumbo has suffered from 26 years of deliberate neglect as it has been passed from owner to owner and is now worth less than nothing on the market. Deliberate neglect cannot be used as justification to approve a planning application, and I would suggest that those who have criticised those trying to protect the tower look at the owner in that context. If the owner cares so much about the tower, why hasn't he fixed the roof of the cupola at the very least? These plans have been proven to be totally uneconomical - indeed, the owner will lose £1.8m of his own money if he ever tried carrying out the conversion.
I don't know of many property developers and businessmen who speculate to make a loss.
One of the Councillors at the meeting (Cllr Jon Manning) mentioned the deliberate neglect and the fact that powers exist for a repairs notice to be served upon the owner to clean up Jumbo up and make good urgent repairs.Hopefully that is something that the Council will pursue. The fact of the matter happens to be that even if the Councillors had accepted the plans, the government would have called it in anyway and a full public enquiry would have taken place. That should give some idea of how important Jumbo is in its own right, and how important it is on a national scale that Grade2* listed buildings such as Jumbo are protected.
[quote][p][bold]CuriousInColchester[/bold] wrote: Well it seems a shame to me that the plan was rejected. Ok so it sounds as though the Conservative saying it would be a pile of bricks is ignorant, and it probably will be still there, but what is the point of it being there if it's not accessible to people? It's an important piece of history, so it should be preserved, but not just left exactly as it is, it should be made use of in an accessible but sympathetic way. So what will happen now? Nothing.[/p][/quote]Ok, so nothing will happen. So what? You've got to step back and look at this with a balanced view. No-one is saying Jumbo shouldn't be preserved, but at what cost? Destroying the building's historic fabric so it can still stand is not preservation. Infact, I would imagine if the plans were to ever go ahead the level of destruction and loss of character would such, that it would be de-listed, and that would be a huge loss to Colchester as a historic town. The reason Jumbo looks a mess is because of the attitude of the owner. Jumbo has suffered from 26 years of deliberate neglect as it has been passed from owner to owner and is now worth less than nothing on the market. Deliberate neglect cannot be used as justification to approve a planning application, and I would suggest that those who have criticised those trying to protect the tower look at the owner in that context. If the owner cares so much about the tower, why hasn't he fixed the roof of the cupola at the very least? These plans have been proven to be totally uneconomical - indeed, the owner will lose £1.8m of his own money if he ever tried carrying out the conversion. I don't know of many property developers and businessmen who speculate to make a loss. One of the Councillors at the meeting (Cllr Jon Manning) mentioned the deliberate neglect and the fact that powers exist for a repairs notice to be served upon the owner to clean up Jumbo up and make good urgent repairs.Hopefully that is something that the Council will pursue. The fact of the matter happens to be that even if the Councillors had accepted the plans, the government would have called it in anyway and a full public enquiry would have taken place. That should give some idea of how important Jumbo is in its own right, and how important it is on a national scale that Grade2* listed buildings such as Jumbo are protected. DL1970
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Sat 10 Sep 11

Sdapeze says...

I presume that Mr Braithwaite is prepared to spend millions on this wonderful edifice, otherwise he wouldn't have bought it and put in the application to convert it to a useful purpose. Most towns or cities would think us crazy to oppose such a scheme to take this building into the 21st century. Thank goodness the Colchester dinosaurs weren't the decision makers over what happened to Battersea Power Station. We must be bloody mad! Is it any wonder Colchester is in the state it is in with petty squabbling such as this over our heritage assets?
I presume that Mr Braithwaite is prepared to spend millions on this wonderful edifice, otherwise he wouldn't have bought it and put in the application to convert it to a useful purpose. Most towns or cities would think us crazy to oppose such a scheme to take this building into the 21st century. Thank goodness the Colchester dinosaurs weren't the decision makers over what happened to Battersea Power Station. We must be bloody mad! Is it any wonder Colchester is in the state it is in with petty squabbling such as this over our heritage assets? Sdapeze
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Sat 10 Sep 11

Ourdogtess says...

Perhaps Sdapeze has forgotten, but at the last election his friend Mr Braithwaite hung huge blue banners from Jumbo's tank saying VOTE CONSERVATIVE. Was it a total co-incidence that all five Tories on the planning committee were the ONLY ones to vote of favour of Mr Braithwaite's plans for Jumbo? As the man in Yes Minister said "I could not possibly comment".

Sdapeze could not be bothered to attend the planning meeting or even submit a comment to the planning office. At least the Balkerne Tower Trust people actually want to rescue the wonderful Jumbo for the people of Colchester and make it something we can be proud of, not just another block of offices and flats.
Perhaps Sdapeze has forgotten, but at the last election his friend Mr Braithwaite hung huge blue banners from Jumbo's tank saying VOTE CONSERVATIVE. Was it a total co-incidence that all five Tories on the planning committee were the ONLY ones to vote of favour of Mr Braithwaite's plans for Jumbo? As the man in Yes Minister said "I could not possibly comment". Sdapeze could not be bothered to attend the planning meeting or even submit a comment to the planning office. At least the Balkerne Tower Trust people actually want to rescue the wonderful Jumbo for the people of Colchester and make it something we can be proud of, not just another block of offices and flats. Ourdogtess
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Sat 10 Sep 11

Ourdogtess says...

Perhaps Sdapeze has forgotten, but at the last election his friend Mr Braithwaite hung huge blue banners from Jumbo's tank saying VOTE CONSERVATIVE. Was it a total co-incidence that all five Tories on the planning committee were the ONLY ones to vote of favour of Mr Braithwaite's plans for Jumbo? As the man in Yes Minister said "I could not possibly comment".

Sdapeze could not be bothered to attend the planning meeting or even submit a comment to the planning office. At least the Balkerne Tower Trust people actually want to rescue the wonderful Jumbo for the people of Colchester and make it something we can be proud of, not just another block of offices and flats.
Perhaps Sdapeze has forgotten, but at the last election his friend Mr Braithwaite hung huge blue banners from Jumbo's tank saying VOTE CONSERVATIVE. Was it a total co-incidence that all five Tories on the planning committee were the ONLY ones to vote of favour of Mr Braithwaite's plans for Jumbo? As the man in Yes Minister said "I could not possibly comment". Sdapeze could not be bothered to attend the planning meeting or even submit a comment to the planning office. At least the Balkerne Tower Trust people actually want to rescue the wonderful Jumbo for the people of Colchester and make it something we can be proud of, not just another block of offices and flats. Ourdogtess
  • Score: 0

2:26pm Sat 10 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

Sdapeze wrote:
I presume that Mr Braithwaite is prepared to spend millions on this wonderful edifice, otherwise he wouldn't have bought it and put in the application to convert it to a useful purpose. Most towns or cities would think us crazy to oppose such a scheme to take this building into the 21st century. Thank goodness the Colchester dinosaurs weren't the decision makers over what happened to Battersea Power Station. We must be bloody mad! Is it any wonder Colchester is in the state it is in with petty squabbling such as this over our heritage assets?
If I recall correctly, Michael Hezaltine granted Battersea Power Station Grade 2 listed status in the early 1980's. The older 'A' station is of particular interest with its art deco interior. To the best of my knowledge, the Roche Consortium put forward the proposals for a theme park and the (then Conservative) government backed the plan and it all went ahead dispite protests that the local infrastructure simply could not support such a scheme. As it happens, the money ran out and the station was left ruined without a roof on the boiler house.
Perhaps the fate of Battersea Power Station should serve as a warning to those who may wish to allow developers to play 'russian roulette' with our most cherished buildings and heritage.
[quote][p][bold]Sdapeze[/bold] wrote: I presume that Mr Braithwaite is prepared to spend millions on this wonderful edifice, otherwise he wouldn't have bought it and put in the application to convert it to a useful purpose. Most towns or cities would think us crazy to oppose such a scheme to take this building into the 21st century. Thank goodness the Colchester dinosaurs weren't the decision makers over what happened to Battersea Power Station. We must be bloody mad! Is it any wonder Colchester is in the state it is in with petty squabbling such as this over our heritage assets?[/p][/quote]If I recall correctly, Michael Hezaltine granted Battersea Power Station Grade 2 listed status in the early 1980's. The older 'A' station is of particular interest with its art deco interior. To the best of my knowledge, the Roche Consortium put forward the proposals for a theme park and the (then Conservative) government backed the plan and it all went ahead dispite protests that the local infrastructure simply could not support such a scheme. As it happens, the money ran out and the station was left ruined without a roof on the boiler house. Perhaps the fate of Battersea Power Station should serve as a warning to those who may wish to allow developers to play 'russian roulette' with our most cherished buildings and heritage. DL1970
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Sat 10 Sep 11

Sdapeze says...

I didn't realise that Mr Braithwaite was a Tory. That answers a lot about why the decision was turned down. Is our borough council fit to govern? Why do I bother to promote my town? This whole business is deplorable. I didn't write in support of the application as I didn't think I needed to. I thought (wrongly) that a decision would be made based on its merits rather than based on petty politics.
I didn't realise that Mr Braithwaite was a Tory. That answers a lot about why the decision was turned down. Is our borough council fit to govern? Why do I bother to promote my town? This whole business is deplorable. I didn't write in support of the application as I didn't think I needed to. I thought (wrongly) that a decision would be made based on its merits rather than based on petty politics. Sdapeze
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Sat 10 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

Sdapeze wrote:
I didn't realise that Mr Braithwaite was a Tory. That answers a lot about why the decision was turned down. Is our borough council fit to govern? Why do I bother to promote my town? This whole business is deplorable. I didn't write in support of the application as I didn't think I needed to. I thought (wrongly) that a decision would be made based on its merits rather than based on petty politics.
How can a decision be made based on merits when it concerns a planning scheme that is totally devoid of them?
[quote][p][bold]Sdapeze[/bold] wrote: I didn't realise that Mr Braithwaite was a Tory. That answers a lot about why the decision was turned down. Is our borough council fit to govern? Why do I bother to promote my town? This whole business is deplorable. I didn't write in support of the application as I didn't think I needed to. I thought (wrongly) that a decision would be made based on its merits rather than based on petty politics.[/p][/quote]How can a decision be made based on merits when it concerns a planning scheme that is totally devoid of them? DL1970
  • Score: 0

3:50pm Sat 10 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

I do apologise, I mean't planning 'application', not planning 'scheme'.
I do apologise, I mean't planning 'application', not planning 'scheme'. DL1970
  • Score: 0

6:01pm Sat 10 Sep 11

Sdapeze says...

DL1970 seems to be of the opinion that he knows better than the planners. For the record, I have never met or spoken with Mr Braithwaite, or know anything of him beyond the fact that he bought our Jumbo. I simply viewed this application on what I thought were its merits. I now know that the planners viewed it on the basis of the applicant's alleged politics. What seems very strange to me is that, if this was indeed a political decision, the fact that the LibDems and the Conservatives are in coalition and are running the country seems to have been completely forgotten. The people of this country pay taxes to finance our planning system. In Colchester, at least, they are financing people who who are unfit for the positions they hold.
DL1970 seems to be of the opinion that he knows better than the planners. For the record, I have never met or spoken with Mr Braithwaite, or know anything of him beyond the fact that he bought our Jumbo. I simply viewed this application on what I thought were its merits. I now know that the planners viewed it on the basis of the applicant's alleged politics. What seems very strange to me is that, if this was indeed a political decision, the fact that the LibDems and the Conservatives are in coalition and are running the country seems to have been completely forgotten. The people of this country pay taxes to finance our planning system. In Colchester, at least, they are financing people who who are unfit for the positions they hold. Sdapeze
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Sat 10 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

Sdapeze wrote:
DL1970 seems to be of the opinion that he knows better than the planners. For the record, I have never met or spoken with Mr Braithwaite, or know anything of him beyond the fact that he bought our Jumbo. I simply viewed this application on what I thought were its merits. I now know that the planners viewed it on the basis of the applicant's alleged politics. What seems very strange to me is that, if this was indeed a political decision, the fact that the LibDems and the Conservatives are in coalition and are running the country seems to have been completely forgotten. The people of this country pay taxes to finance our planning system. In Colchester, at least, they are financing people who who are unfit for the positions they hold.
How do you know all this if you couldn't even be bothered to go to the Planning meeting?
[quote][p][bold]Sdapeze[/bold] wrote: DL1970 seems to be of the opinion that he knows better than the planners. For the record, I have never met or spoken with Mr Braithwaite, or know anything of him beyond the fact that he bought our Jumbo. I simply viewed this application on what I thought were its merits. I now know that the planners viewed it on the basis of the applicant's alleged politics. What seems very strange to me is that, if this was indeed a political decision, the fact that the LibDems and the Conservatives are in coalition and are running the country seems to have been completely forgotten. The people of this country pay taxes to finance our planning system. In Colchester, at least, they are financing people who who are unfit for the positions they hold.[/p][/quote]How do you know all this if you couldn't even be bothered to go to the Planning meeting? DL1970
  • Score: 0

10:17pm Sat 10 Sep 11

Boris says...

DL1970 wrote:
Sdapeze wrote:
DL1970 seems to be of the opinion that he knows better than the planners. For the record, I have never met or spoken with Mr Braithwaite, or know anything of him beyond the fact that he bought our Jumbo. I simply viewed this application on what I thought were its merits. I now know that the planners viewed it on the basis of the applicant's alleged politics. What seems very strange to me is that, if this was indeed a political decision, the fact that the LibDems and the Conservatives are in coalition and are running the country seems to have been completely forgotten. The people of this country pay taxes to finance our planning system. In Colchester, at least, they are financing people who who are unfit for the positions they hold.
How do you know all this if you couldn't even be bothered to go to the Planning meeting?
DL1970, remember that this Sdapeze who says the councillors should have followed the planning officers' recommendations is the same Sdapeze who opposed those same planning officers when they, rightly, recommended refusal of the immensely deleterious "Horkesley Park" scheme.
All he really expects is that in every case the decision should go according to his infantile whim.
And then he has the effrontery to write "It's pathetic that such an important decision should be decided by children"!!!
What a clown.
[quote][p][bold]DL1970[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sdapeze[/bold] wrote: DL1970 seems to be of the opinion that he knows better than the planners. For the record, I have never met or spoken with Mr Braithwaite, or know anything of him beyond the fact that he bought our Jumbo. I simply viewed this application on what I thought were its merits. I now know that the planners viewed it on the basis of the applicant's alleged politics. What seems very strange to me is that, if this was indeed a political decision, the fact that the LibDems and the Conservatives are in coalition and are running the country seems to have been completely forgotten. The people of this country pay taxes to finance our planning system. In Colchester, at least, they are financing people who who are unfit for the positions they hold.[/p][/quote]How do you know all this if you couldn't even be bothered to go to the Planning meeting?[/p][/quote]DL1970, remember that this Sdapeze who says the councillors should have followed the planning officers' recommendations is the same Sdapeze who opposed those same planning officers when they, rightly, recommended refusal of the immensely deleterious "Horkesley Park" scheme. All he really expects is that in every case the decision should go according to his infantile whim. And then he has the effrontery to write "It's pathetic that such an important decision should be decided by children"!!! What a clown. Boris
  • Score: 0

11:18pm Sat 10 Sep 11

crum says...

Boris wrote:
André wrote: Having just read the article I am angered almost to the point of apoplexy with the local council. These mean spirited old cretins have once again made a decision that is fundamentally at odds with what the public want. Councillors should be there to represent the voice of the people from their respective consituent areas, not push their own agenda. Rather than modernising this decrepid eyesore the council has voted against the planning committee and gone for keeping this derelict, pigeon and rat infested blight on Colchester's visual landscape. I really hope that when the next round of local elections come about, people remember this and vote in some young fresh blood to this stuffy council. 27 Residents out of 120,000 object and the council decides with the 27. I think the names of those that objected as well as the 7 councillors that voted against the development should be named by the Gazette so we can all see who it is that is stiffling progress in this town. I notice that miscreant Why on earth is Bob Russell against this? Bob's heart is in the right place as he does spend all of his time championing local issues which one cannot fault, however he should be representing the majority and promoting what the people of Colchester want, and not want a tiny minority of the people of Colchester object to.
What a ridiculous argument. Yes, it is true that just 27 residents out of 120,000 wrote in with objections to Mr Braithwaite's proposals. Do you know how many supported them? Precisely one. Was that you? You have demolished your own argument, for the records prove that the defenders of Jumbo outnumber your side overwhelmingly. You say you want names. You will find the names of those 28 people, the only ones who could be bothered to express their opinion one way or the other, on the CBC website (planning section). You should also find the details of how each councillor voted in the minutes, when these are published on the website in a couple of weeks' time. If you want fresh blood on the council, why don't you stand yourself? You have at least shown that you are able to cobble together an argument, even if you are out of touch with local feelings, as demonstrated earler. This is more than can be said for wellnow, who seemes incapable of rising above mere abuse.
Borris I am sorry to say that Brits normally only write with objections to planning applications and rarely to support them. I suspect that I will be proved wrong when Wilkin and Son submit their plans the a development in Tiptree.

On my rare visits to Colchester (parking fees are a joke on Sundays) I walk past Jumbo and it is a grand building, it should be preserved - how to preserve it is the problem.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]André[/bold] wrote: Having just read the article I am angered almost to the point of apoplexy with the local council. These mean spirited old cretins have once again made a decision that is fundamentally at odds with what the public want. Councillors should be there to represent the voice of the people from their respective consituent areas, not push their own agenda. Rather than modernising this decrepid eyesore the council has voted against the planning committee and gone for keeping this derelict, pigeon and rat infested blight on Colchester's visual landscape. I really hope that when the next round of local elections come about, people remember this and vote in some young fresh blood to this stuffy council. 27 Residents out of 120,000 object and the council decides with the 27. I think the names of those that objected as well as the 7 councillors that voted against the development should be named by the Gazette so we can all see who it is that is stiffling progress in this town. I notice that miscreant Why on earth is Bob Russell against this? Bob's heart is in the right place as he does spend all of his time championing local issues which one cannot fault, however he should be representing the majority and promoting what the people of Colchester want, and not want a tiny minority of the people of Colchester object to.[/p][/quote]What a ridiculous argument. Yes, it is true that just 27 residents out of 120,000 wrote in with objections to Mr Braithwaite's proposals. Do you know how many supported them? Precisely one. Was that you? You have demolished your own argument, for the records prove that the defenders of Jumbo outnumber your side overwhelmingly. You say you want names. You will find the names of those 28 people, the only ones who could be bothered to express their opinion one way or the other, on the CBC website (planning section). You should also find the details of how each councillor voted in the minutes, when these are published on the website in a couple of weeks' time. If you want fresh blood on the council, why don't you stand yourself? You have at least shown that you are able to cobble together an argument, even if you are out of touch with local feelings, as demonstrated earler. This is more than can be said for wellnow, who seemes incapable of rising above mere abuse.[/p][/quote]Borris I am sorry to say that Brits normally only write with objections to planning applications and rarely to support them. I suspect that I will be proved wrong when Wilkin and Son submit their plans the a development in Tiptree. On my rare visits to Colchester (parking fees are a joke on Sundays) I walk past Jumbo and it is a grand building, it should be preserved - how to preserve it is the problem. crum
  • Score: 0

11:38pm Sat 10 Sep 11

CJ1989 says...

I'm not sure I follow the arguments of the people against this development. On one hand, they say that 26 years of 'deliberate neglect' has rendered Jumbo worthless. On the other, that there is no need to rush into a development scheme because it isn't going to fall down any time soon.

I think we can all agree the building's condition isn't going to improve with time.

Has anyone come up with a better idea, along with the cash to do something about it? It's all well and good these conservation groups saying it would be a travesty, and that it would destroy the fabric of our history, but while they deliberate about it all the situation is deteriorating.

The worse the condition of Jumbo gets, the more expensive any development will be, the less viable it will be, and the less likely it is to happen.

Yes, in a perfect world someone would turn up and donate however many million would be required to totally fix it up, and provide free public access every day. Lovely. But never going to happen.

The way I see it we can either let someone change it into something totally different but usable, or argue about how to save it, right up until the day it's declared unsafe and issued with a demolition order.

I know what I'd prefer, and it seems plenty of people on here would also like to actually be able to use Jumbo for something. It's just a shame the council see things differently.
I'm not sure I follow the arguments of the people against this development. On one hand, they say that 26 years of 'deliberate neglect' has rendered Jumbo worthless. On the other, that there is no need to rush into a development scheme because it isn't going to fall down any time soon. I think we can all agree the building's condition isn't going to improve with time. Has anyone come up with a better idea, along with the cash to do something about it? It's all well and good these conservation groups saying it would be a travesty, and that it would destroy the fabric of our history, but while they deliberate about it all the situation is deteriorating. The worse the condition of Jumbo gets, the more expensive any development will be, the less viable it will be, and the less likely it is to happen. Yes, in a perfect world someone would turn up and donate however many million would be required to totally fix it up, and provide free public access every day. Lovely. But never going to happen. The way I see it we can either let someone change it into something totally different but usable, or argue about how to save it, right up until the day it's declared unsafe and issued with a demolition order. I know what I'd prefer, and it seems plenty of people on here would also like to actually be able to use Jumbo for something. It's just a shame the council see things differently. CJ1989
  • Score: 0

12:25am Sun 11 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

CJ1989 wrote:
I'm not sure I follow the arguments of the people against this development. On one hand, they say that 26 years of 'deliberate neglect' has rendered Jumbo worthless. On the other, that there is no need to rush into a development scheme because it isn't going to fall down any time soon. I think we can all agree the building's condition isn't going to improve with time. Has anyone come up with a better idea, along with the cash to do something about it? It's all well and good these conservation groups saying it would be a travesty, and that it would destroy the fabric of our history, but while they deliberate about it all the situation is deteriorating. The worse the condition of Jumbo gets, the more expensive any development will be, the less viable it will be, and the less likely it is to happen. Yes, in a perfect world someone would turn up and donate however many million would be required to totally fix it up, and provide free public access every day. Lovely. But never going to happen. The way I see it we can either let someone change it into something totally different but usable, or argue about how to save it, right up until the day it's declared unsafe and issued with a demolition order. I know what I'd prefer, and it seems plenty of people on here would also like to actually be able to use Jumbo for something. It's just a shame the council see things differently.
You are right in what you say about Jumbo deteriorating, but it is a slow process and its not in any danger yet. It won't be allowed to get to the stage where it becomes unsafe. Demolition is out of the question because it is a Listed building and the demolition costs would be just as high as the repair costs. (the council would have to act long before it gets to Category A on the buildings at risk register). As Cllr Jon Manning mentioned at the Planning meeting, a repairs notice is the way forward. I hope Cllr Manning follows this up with the planning department.
[quote][p][bold]CJ1989[/bold] wrote: I'm not sure I follow the arguments of the people against this development. On one hand, they say that 26 years of 'deliberate neglect' has rendered Jumbo worthless. On the other, that there is no need to rush into a development scheme because it isn't going to fall down any time soon. I think we can all agree the building's condition isn't going to improve with time. Has anyone come up with a better idea, along with the cash to do something about it? It's all well and good these conservation groups saying it would be a travesty, and that it would destroy the fabric of our history, but while they deliberate about it all the situation is deteriorating. The worse the condition of Jumbo gets, the more expensive any development will be, the less viable it will be, and the less likely it is to happen. Yes, in a perfect world someone would turn up and donate however many million would be required to totally fix it up, and provide free public access every day. Lovely. But never going to happen. The way I see it we can either let someone change it into something totally different but usable, or argue about how to save it, right up until the day it's declared unsafe and issued with a demolition order. I know what I'd prefer, and it seems plenty of people on here would also like to actually be able to use Jumbo for something. It's just a shame the council see things differently.[/p][/quote]You are right in what you say about Jumbo deteriorating, but it is a slow process and its not in any danger yet. It won't be allowed to get to the stage where it becomes unsafe. Demolition is out of the question because it is a Listed building and the demolition costs would be just as high as the repair costs. (the council would have to act long before it gets to Category A on the buildings at risk register). As Cllr Jon Manning mentioned at the Planning meeting, a repairs notice is the way forward. I hope Cllr Manning follows this up with the planning department. DL1970
  • Score: 0

10:41am Sun 11 Sep 11

Say It As It Is OK? says...

That's not the same Cllr Manning who was party to approving the demolotion of Tubswick, another Grade 2 listed building in Mile End is it?

How strange!
That's not the same Cllr Manning who was party to approving the demolotion of Tubswick, another Grade 2 listed building in Mile End is it? How strange! Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Sun 11 Sep 11

wellnow says...

please gazette when people copy what others have said in their missives please
don't print it.
please gazette when people copy what others have said in their missives please don't print it. wellnow
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Sun 11 Sep 11

Cynic2009 says...

Let's not beat about the bush, the applicant does not care about this historic feature as it stands, he is only interested in making a substantial profit from its development. As the tower will not legally be allowed to simply fall down, the question is, does the town profit from its redevelopment?
I would respectfully suggest not.
It will feature a cafe / restaurant and shops, none of which we lack. Then there are flats (we are not lacking with those) and the upper section will be turned into luxury penthouse flats.
I fail to see how that will benefit anyone other than who lives there. I cannot imagine anyone will visit the town to gaze in wonder at penthouse flats. Surely though there is scope for the land around the tower to be developed into a cafe etc and for the upper structure to become a viewing platform in the day and even perhaps a restaurant at night. That way Jumbo would actually attract people to the town, generate revenue and a fair compromise would be reached. What, of course, is lacking, is compromise and imagination by planners, the owner and the preservation society. But how the people on here think penthouse flats and the whole structure being developed will benefit anyone other than the applicant escapes me.
Let's not beat about the bush, the applicant does not care about this historic feature as it stands, he is only interested in making a substantial profit from its development. As the tower will not legally be allowed to simply fall down, the question is, does the town profit from its redevelopment? I would respectfully suggest not. It will feature a cafe / restaurant and shops, none of which we lack. Then there are flats (we are not lacking with those) and the upper section will be turned into luxury penthouse flats. I fail to see how that will benefit anyone other than who lives there. I cannot imagine anyone will visit the town to gaze in wonder at penthouse flats. Surely though there is scope for the land around the tower to be developed into a cafe etc and for the upper structure to become a viewing platform in the day and even perhaps a restaurant at night. That way Jumbo would actually attract people to the town, generate revenue and a fair compromise would be reached. What, of course, is lacking, is compromise and imagination by planners, the owner and the preservation society. But how the people on here think penthouse flats and the whole structure being developed will benefit anyone other than the applicant escapes me. Cynic2009
  • Score: 0

12:30am Mon 12 Sep 11

RobWalker says...

If our MP is criticised in any way, there is always a response saying "I agree with Bob". Surely all Lib Dem activists can't agree with absolutely everything their representative says?
I think enough is enough of this sort of top down nonsense, where a very few people decide on matters like Jumbo to the detriment of everybody else. We need more direct democracy and fewer politicians.
If our MP is criticised in any way, there is always a response saying "I agree with Bob". Surely all Lib Dem activists can't agree with absolutely everything their representative says? I think enough is enough of this sort of top down nonsense, where a very few people decide on matters like Jumbo to the detriment of everybody else. We need more direct democracy and fewer politicians. RobWalker
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Sdapeze says...

Of course the owner aims to make a profit. He is hardly going to want to make a loss. But that is immaterial as this application has been decided politically rather than on the merits of the application. I hadn't thought of it before but Boris raises a good point. The Horkesley Park rejection was probably political as well. A rotten borough all over again!
Of course the owner aims to make a profit. He is hardly going to want to make a loss. But that is immaterial as this application has been decided politically rather than on the merits of the application. I hadn't thought of it before but Boris raises a good point. The Horkesley Park rejection was probably political as well. A rotten borough all over again! Sdapeze
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Ourdogtess says...

It is not 'immaterial' that the owner wants to make a profit, as Sdapeze says above. He clearly does not know that the Braithwaite scheme would make a loss of £1.8 million. That's according to the applicant's own study.

That's why it won't get built, even if it were approved. Nothing to do with politics. And, thankfully, it's why this magnificent grade II* building will be saved the ignominious fate of becoming yet another boring block of flats.
It is not 'immaterial' that the owner wants to make a profit, as Sdapeze says above. He clearly does not know that the Braithwaite scheme would make a loss of £1.8 million. That's according to the applicant's own study. That's why it won't get built, even if it were approved. Nothing to do with politics. And, thankfully, it's why this magnificent grade II* building will be saved the ignominious fate of becoming yet another boring block of flats. Ourdogtess
  • Score: 0

4:45pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Boris says...

Sdapeze wrote:
Of course the owner aims to make a profit. He is hardly going to want to make a loss. But that is immaterial as this application has been decided politically rather than on the merits of the application. I hadn't thought of it before but Boris raises a good point. The Horkesley Park rejection was probably political as well. A rotten borough all over again!
Horkesley Park was rejected by 11 votes to 1, so even if there was one Tory in favour of it, the other four were against. So it wasn't political.
Hard luck Sdapeze, you are wrong yet again.
Read what Ourdogtess says, and recognise the common sense.
[quote][p][bold]Sdapeze[/bold] wrote: Of course the owner aims to make a profit. He is hardly going to want to make a loss. But that is immaterial as this application has been decided politically rather than on the merits of the application. I hadn't thought of it before but Boris raises a good point. The Horkesley Park rejection was probably political as well. A rotten borough all over again![/p][/quote]Horkesley Park was rejected by 11 votes to 1, so even if there was one Tory in favour of it, the other four were against. So it wasn't political. Hard luck Sdapeze, you are wrong yet again. Read what Ourdogtess says, and recognise the common sense. Boris
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Sdapeze says...

I stand corrected Boris. So Mr Braithwaite intends to give away £1.8 million over this. Sounds like some sort of idiot. He could give me the £1.8 million. I would be ever so grateful.
I stand corrected Boris. So Mr Braithwaite intends to give away £1.8 million over this. Sounds like some sort of idiot. He could give me the £1.8 million. I would be ever so grateful. Sdapeze
  • Score: 0

7:16pm Mon 12 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

Sdapeze wrote:
I stand corrected Boris. So Mr Braithwaite intends to give away £1.8 million over this. Sounds like some sort of idiot. He could give me the £1.8 million. I would be ever so grateful.
Perhaps if you read the Planning reports and associated documentation you would realise that the scheme would lose 1.8m. I believe Savilles carried out the study.
[quote][p][bold]Sdapeze[/bold] wrote: I stand corrected Boris. So Mr Braithwaite intends to give away £1.8 million over this. Sounds like some sort of idiot. He could give me the £1.8 million. I would be ever so grateful.[/p][/quote]Perhaps if you read the Planning reports and associated documentation you would realise that the scheme would lose 1.8m. I believe Savilles carried out the study. DL1970
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Mon 12 Sep 11

wellnow says...

believe what you want but that victorian monstrosity needs changing and braithwaite is the only person to do it.
he owns it what is so wrong with what has been proposed.come on planners tell us why you voted against,give us your reasons for once.
believe what you want but that victorian monstrosity needs changing and braithwaite is the only person to do it. he owns it what is so wrong with what has been proposed.come on planners tell us why you voted against,give us your reasons for once. wellnow
  • Score: 0

7:39pm Mon 12 Sep 11

wellnow says...

what twice
what twice wellnow
  • Score: 0

8:10pm Mon 12 Sep 11

CJ1989 says...

The people with the best intentions for Jumbo have no money to make their ideas happen. The people who DO have the money aren't going to do it for no profit. Why would they?

There are two different, fundamental ideologies when it comes to a development like this. Either one side will back down, or this stalemate will continue for so long none of us live to see the result.

Either the conservationists will have to change their stance, or the developers will have to renovate it in such a way that gets them no profit. Neither looks likely any time soon.
The people with the best intentions for Jumbo have no money to make their ideas happen. The people who DO have the money aren't going to do it for no profit. Why would they? There are two different, fundamental ideologies when it comes to a development like this. Either one side will back down, or this stalemate will continue for so long none of us live to see the result. Either the conservationists will have to change their stance, or the developers will have to renovate it in such a way that gets them no profit. Neither looks likely any time soon. CJ1989
  • Score: 0

11:55pm Mon 12 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

The owner should renovate it regardless. He has a legal obligation as the owner of a Listed building to maintain it whether he is seeking to develop it or not. He knew what he was getting himself into when he blew 330K on a Grade 2* Listed building. Just because he has bought it, and deliberately neglected it, it doesn't mean the Councillors should roll over and grant planning permission. "Give me planning permission or I'll continue to deliberately neglect Jumbo." Is that how its supposed to work?
The owner should renovate it regardless. He has a legal obligation as the owner of a Listed building to maintain it whether he is seeking to develop it or not. He knew what he was getting himself into when he blew 330K on a Grade 2* Listed building. Just because he has bought it, and deliberately neglected it, it doesn't mean the Councillors should roll over and grant planning permission. "Give me planning permission or I'll continue to deliberately neglect Jumbo." Is that how its supposed to work? DL1970
  • Score: 0

1:16am Tue 13 Sep 11

Little Bobby Walker says...

So what are the action steps to resolve the situation? Are we just going to wait to the point some years down the line until Jumbo becomes unsafe and has to be demolished? Inaction one way or the other is the wrong decision.
So what are the action steps to resolve the situation? Are we just going to wait to the point some years down the line until Jumbo becomes unsafe and has to be demolished? Inaction one way or the other is the wrong decision. Little Bobby Walker
  • Score: 0

6:09am Tue 13 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

Little Bobby Walker wrote:
So what are the action steps to resolve the situation? Are we just going to wait to the point some years down the line until Jumbo becomes unsafe and has to be demolished? Inaction one way or the other is the wrong decision.
For starters Jumbo wil not be demolished (Grade 2* Listed status would require demolition consent which the government would refuse). The Council will be forced to act against the owner to inforce the law and get repairs done before it becomes dangerous or reaches category A on the buildings at risk register.
[quote][p][bold]Little Bobby Walker[/bold] wrote: So what are the action steps to resolve the situation? Are we just going to wait to the point some years down the line until Jumbo becomes unsafe and has to be demolished? Inaction one way or the other is the wrong decision.[/p][/quote]For starters Jumbo wil not be demolished (Grade 2* Listed status would require demolition consent which the government would refuse). The Council will be forced to act against the owner to inforce the law and get repairs done before it becomes dangerous or reaches category A on the buildings at risk register. DL1970
  • Score: 0

6:11am Tue 13 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

Little Bobby Walker wrote:
So what are the action steps to resolve the situation? Are we just going to wait to the point some years down the line until Jumbo becomes unsafe and has to be demolished? Inaction one way or the other is the wrong decision.
Oops! I meant enforce, not inforce.
[quote][p][bold]Little Bobby Walker[/bold] wrote: So what are the action steps to resolve the situation? Are we just going to wait to the point some years down the line until Jumbo becomes unsafe and has to be demolished? Inaction one way or the other is the wrong decision.[/p][/quote]Oops! I meant enforce, not inforce. DL1970
  • Score: 0

10:01am Tue 13 Sep 11

Sdapeze says...

Would Jumbo attract heritage lottery funding if the trust were able to buy Jumbo. The Gazette tells us that the owner is not minded to sell, although I bet if he could return a profit I reckon he would sell. So come on, people of Colchester, how much are you prepared to contribute to the fund? I offer £5000 on a share holding principle and on the basis that Jumbo would become a heritage attraction for visitors.
Would Jumbo attract heritage lottery funding if the trust were able to buy Jumbo. The Gazette tells us that the owner is not minded to sell, although I bet if he could return a profit I reckon he would sell. So come on, people of Colchester, how much are you prepared to contribute to the fund? I offer £5000 on a share holding principle and on the basis that Jumbo would become a heritage attraction for visitors. Sdapeze
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Tue 13 Sep 11

newtactic says...

If the owner had any intention of carrying out his planning submission, he would have cared for and maintained the building since he bought it. He has not. Therefore he must be intending to sell the building on at a profit, once he gets planning permission. The other evidence for this is the fact he is refusing to meet with the Balkerne Tower Trust with a view to the two parties co-operating and planning towards ensuring the grade two listed landmark's future.
If the owner had any intention of carrying out his planning submission, he would have cared for and maintained the building since he bought it. He has not. Therefore he must be intending to sell the building on at a profit, once he gets planning permission. The other evidence for this is the fact he is refusing to meet with the Balkerne Tower Trust with a view to the two parties co-operating and planning towards ensuring the grade two listed landmark's future. newtactic
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Tue 13 Sep 11

Sdapeze says...

Anybody with any sense would carry out the repairs during the course of the work, to save money. And why shouldn't he sell it on and make a profit? Is there something wrong with making a profit? And all the Balkerne Trust can offer is a request for Jumbo to be donated to them. It's absurd. They are delusional. The council has missed a big opportunity here to give Colchester a splendid new attraction and to have a messy site made good. So no doubt this will run and run with nothing being done.
Anybody with any sense would carry out the repairs during the course of the work, to save money. And why shouldn't he sell it on and make a profit? Is there something wrong with making a profit? And all the Balkerne Trust can offer is a request for Jumbo to be donated to them. It's absurd. They are delusional. The council has missed a big opportunity here to give Colchester a splendid new attraction and to have a messy site made good. So no doubt this will run and run with nothing being done. Sdapeze
  • Score: 0

7:32pm Tue 13 Sep 11

newtactic says...

@ Sdapeze. There is nothing wrong with making a profit. But in this case it looks as if the profit would be made merely by being granted planning permission, rather than doing the essential renovation and remedial work. Not carrying out repair and maintenance during his ownership, will result in the conversion costing considerably more than has been budgeted for, so it looks likely there was no intention of actually doing the work, only for selling the site on with permission for this underestimated and overambitious conversion. As the costs have been underestimated, there is more chance of a buyer. Will another owner neglect this building for a further number of years? Why can't all interested parties get together and find common ground on which to take a conversion forward?
@ Sdapeze. There is nothing wrong with making a profit. But in this case it looks as if the profit would be made merely by being granted planning permission, rather than doing the essential renovation and remedial work. Not carrying out repair and maintenance during his ownership, will result in the conversion costing considerably more than has been budgeted for, so it looks likely there was no intention of actually doing the work, only for selling the site on with permission for this underestimated and overambitious conversion. As the costs have been underestimated, there is more chance of a buyer. Will another owner neglect this building for a further number of years? Why can't all interested parties get together and find common ground on which to take a conversion forward? newtactic
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Tue 13 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

The parties cannot get together because of the bloody mindedness of the owner. BTT have approached GB via his agent, indeed English Heritage were of the opinion that he should talk to us, but, alas..... You can lead a horse to water (tower) but you can't......you get the drift....
The parties cannot get together because of the bloody mindedness of the owner. BTT have approached GB via his agent, indeed English Heritage were of the opinion that he should talk to us, but, alas..... You can lead a horse to water (tower) but you can't......you get the drift.... DL1970
  • Score: 0

9:32pm Tue 13 Sep 11

newtactic says...

It is the way with developers to overprice buildings when they know heritage groups have an interest in them. A recent example is the Sergeant's Mess, which was seriously overpriced (by about a third), when it became necessary to secure the site of the starting gates of the chariot racing circus. Of course you could argue that the developers originally funded the excavations... well perhaps some of them, but the gates themselves were excavated by volunteers. It looks as though Jumbo is fated to be the pawn in a developer's game. It's a lose/lose situation as far as I can see, unless interested parties can get together, for the sake of the building and the sake of Colchester's skyline and the heritage of future generations.
It is the way with developers to overprice buildings when they know heritage groups have an interest in them. A recent example is the Sergeant's Mess, which was seriously overpriced (by about a third), when it became necessary to secure the site of the starting gates of the chariot racing circus. Of course you could argue that the developers originally funded the excavations... well perhaps some of them, but the gates themselves were excavated by volunteers. It looks as though Jumbo is fated to be the pawn in a developer's game. It's a lose/lose situation as far as I can see, unless interested parties can get together, for the sake of the building and the sake of Colchester's skyline and the heritage of future generations. newtactic
  • Score: 0

11:38pm Tue 13 Sep 11

Ourdogtess says...

Of course the owner has said Jumbo is not for sale. The study he paid for (Report and Valuation by Savills - anyone can read it on the council website) says under current conditions he would have to pay someone to take it off his hands.

Obvious really. If it's impossible to make money from a building, its market value is zero. What he paid for it is neither here nor there.

His cheapest option is actually to give it away, and who more appropriate than the Balkerne Tower Trust to receive it? I should think they would be very grateful and lavish praise on Mr Braithwaite.
Of course the owner has said Jumbo is not for sale. The study he paid for (Report and Valuation by Savills - anyone can read it on the council website) says under current conditions he would have to pay someone to take it off his hands. Obvious really. If it's impossible to make money from a building, its market value is zero. What he paid for it is neither here nor there. His cheapest option is actually to give it away, and who more appropriate than the Balkerne Tower Trust to receive it? I should think they would be very grateful and lavish praise on Mr Braithwaite. Ourdogtess
  • Score: 0

12:38am Wed 14 Sep 11

crum says...

Ok, so much discussion mainly with valid points, the best way forward would be for CBC planners, other interested partied (including the owner) to all meet and find a way forward, this will never happen given CBC history.

This building will only remain with give and take on both sides, I do not belive that this will happen so I am off to buy my Hard Hat for when it falls down in 100 years (it is well built)!
Ok, so much discussion mainly with valid points, the best way forward would be for CBC planners, other interested partied (including the owner) to all meet and find a way forward, this will never happen given CBC history. This building will only remain with give and take on both sides, I do not belive that this will happen so I am off to buy my Hard Hat for when it falls down in 100 years (it is well built)! crum
  • Score: 0

6:45am Wed 14 Sep 11

DL1970 says...

As ourdogtess states, he would be paying somone to take Jumbo off his hands (and who better than BTT to take on responsibility for Jumbo). If we take a serious look at this, what are his options?

He has paid £330k for Jumbo at auction. When he purchased Jumbo it had planning permission for a penthouse which was a lot less damaging than the current scheme, although it wasn't financially viable.
(Jumbo was also only Grade 2 listed when the original penthouse plan was submitted, so it was treated as such even though it became grade 2* shortly thereafter.)

Jumbo is now worth less than nothing on the market. One reason is the raising of its listed status from grade 2 to grade 2* which makes it far more difficult to justify any planning scheme involving alterations to the tower's appearance or the loss of its historic fabric.

He go to a planning appeal with no guarantee of success, ending up even more out of pocket with various fees. If the decision was over turned and he was granted planning permission he could go ahead and risk losing £1.8m of his own cash (I'm not sure if the studies by Savills took into account the cost of buying the tower aswell).

He could keep hold of Jumbo and end up being served with a repairs notice. He would then have to carry out the repairs to the tower as it stands or face the possibility of it being taken off of him for a token sum of money. (£1 perhaps)
As ourdogtess states, he would be paying somone to take Jumbo off his hands (and who better than BTT to take on responsibility for Jumbo). If we take a serious look at this, what are his options? He has paid £330k for Jumbo at auction. When he purchased Jumbo it had planning permission for a penthouse which was a lot less damaging than the current scheme, although it wasn't financially viable. (Jumbo was also only Grade 2 listed when the original penthouse plan was submitted, so it was treated as such even though it became grade 2* shortly thereafter.) Jumbo is now worth less than nothing on the market. One reason is the raising of its listed status from grade 2 to grade 2* which makes it far more difficult to justify any planning scheme involving alterations to the tower's appearance or the loss of its historic fabric. He go to a planning appeal with no guarantee of success, ending up even more out of pocket with various fees. If the decision was over turned and he was granted planning permission he could go ahead and risk losing £1.8m of his own cash (I'm not sure if the studies by Savills took into account the cost of buying the tower aswell). He could keep hold of Jumbo and end up being served with a repairs notice. He would then have to carry out the repairs to the tower as it stands or face the possibility of it being taken off of him for a token sum of money. (£1 perhaps) DL1970
  • Score: 0

1:24am Thu 15 Sep 11

Boris says...

Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, that is their nature. Mr Braithwaite confessed at the time that he had bought Jumbo on impulse and without thinking through how he would make money out of it.
It is now clear that he will never make money from it, so he can write off his £330,000 as an investment that failed, like a bet on a horse that doesn't win.
That doesn't make him a bad businessman, it merely proves that nobody can win all the time. He will have made good profits from other ventures, so he is still sitting pretty.
If he wants to have any say in the future of his property, Mr Braithwaite must carry out the repairs now. That is what any owner of a listed building has to do. If CBC serves a repairs notice on him, and he fails to comply promptly, then CBC has to serve a compulsory purchase order on him, paying a nominal sum such as £1, which is already far more than the building is worth as a financial asset. To avoid being saddled with the building, CBC will have a back-to-back agreement to sell Jumbo on the same day to Balkerne Tower Trust for a similar nominal amount. BTT will then set about raising funds to transform Jumbo, Colchester's best-loved building, into a fine visitor attraction.
Google "save jumbo", and pick the top link on page 1, to see what sort of attraction it could be.
Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, that is their nature. Mr Braithwaite confessed at the time that he had bought Jumbo on impulse and without thinking through how he would make money out of it. It is now clear that he will never make money from it, so he can write off his £330,000 as an investment that failed, like a bet on a horse that doesn't win. That doesn't make him a bad businessman, it merely proves that nobody can win all the time. He will have made good profits from other ventures, so he is still sitting pretty. If he wants to have any say in the future of his property, Mr Braithwaite must carry out the repairs now. That is what any owner of a listed building has to do. If CBC serves a repairs notice on him, and he fails to comply promptly, then CBC has to serve a compulsory purchase order on him, paying a nominal sum such as £1, which is already far more than the building is worth as a financial asset. To avoid being saddled with the building, CBC will have a back-to-back agreement to sell Jumbo on the same day to Balkerne Tower Trust for a similar nominal amount. BTT will then set about raising funds to transform Jumbo, Colchester's best-loved building, into a fine visitor attraction. Google "save jumbo", and pick the top link on page 1, to see what sort of attraction it could be. Boris
  • Score: 0

8:23am Thu 15 Sep 11

Little Bobby Walker says...

Boris wrote:
Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, that is their nature. Mr Braithwaite confessed at the time that he had bought Jumbo on impulse and without thinking through how he would make money out of it.
It is now clear that he will never make money from it, so he can write off his £330,000 as an investment that failed, like a bet on a horse that doesn't win.
That doesn't make him a bad businessman, it merely proves that nobody can win all the time. He will have made good profits from other ventures, so he is still sitting pretty.
If he wants to have any say in the future of his property, Mr Braithwaite must carry out the repairs now. That is what any owner of a listed building has to do. If CBC serves a repairs notice on him, and he fails to comply promptly, then CBC has to serve a compulsory purchase order on him, paying a nominal sum such as £1, which is already far more than the building is worth as a financial asset. To avoid being saddled with the building, CBC will have a back-to-back agreement to sell Jumbo on the same day to Balkerne Tower Trust for a similar nominal amount. BTT will then set about raising funds to transform Jumbo, Colchester's best-loved building, into a fine visitor attraction.
Google "save jumbo", and pick the top link on page 1, to see what sort of attraction it could be.
Transparency at last! I wish people would just say what they are tryng to do, rather than making up reasons.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, that is their nature. Mr Braithwaite confessed at the time that he had bought Jumbo on impulse and without thinking through how he would make money out of it. It is now clear that he will never make money from it, so he can write off his £330,000 as an investment that failed, like a bet on a horse that doesn't win. That doesn't make him a bad businessman, it merely proves that nobody can win all the time. He will have made good profits from other ventures, so he is still sitting pretty. If he wants to have any say in the future of his property, Mr Braithwaite must carry out the repairs now. That is what any owner of a listed building has to do. If CBC serves a repairs notice on him, and he fails to comply promptly, then CBC has to serve a compulsory purchase order on him, paying a nominal sum such as £1, which is already far more than the building is worth as a financial asset. To avoid being saddled with the building, CBC will have a back-to-back agreement to sell Jumbo on the same day to Balkerne Tower Trust for a similar nominal amount. BTT will then set about raising funds to transform Jumbo, Colchester's best-loved building, into a fine visitor attraction. Google "save jumbo", and pick the top link on page 1, to see what sort of attraction it could be.[/p][/quote]Transparency at last! I wish people would just say what they are tryng to do, rather than making up reasons. Little Bobby Walker
  • Score: 0

9:08am Thu 15 Sep 11

Sdapeze says...

It's an interesting theory Boris and one that I thoroughly approve of. Write it off Mr Braithwaite and give it to the people. Somehow, I don't think it will happen, for so many reasons. Only time will tell.
It's an interesting theory Boris and one that I thoroughly approve of. Write it off Mr Braithwaite and give it to the people. Somehow, I don't think it will happen, for so many reasons. Only time will tell. Sdapeze
  • Score: 0

1:23pm Thu 15 Sep 11

André says...

The council should be obligated to approve planning applications unless a building needs to be protected due to historical value. If they choose to protect a building they must buy it from the owner at the estimated value it would be worth POST development... This is how I would have the law. This would stop old fashioned hasbeen mindsets from preventing progress and stifling peoples business ventures.
The council should be obligated to approve planning applications unless a building needs to be protected due to historical value. If they choose to protect a building they must buy it from the owner at the estimated value it would be worth POST development... This is how I would have the law. This would stop old fashioned hasbeen mindsets from preventing progress and stifling peoples business ventures. André
  • Score: 0

1:26pm Thu 15 Sep 11

André says...

What would you rather have? A pigeon and rat infested brickwork eyesore blighting the skyline, or a fully renovated building with several upmarket restaurants and penthouse flats bringing business revenue into the town and tax money into the public coffers? What about the idea of a public vote? Crowd source the public view by poll?
What would you rather have? A pigeon and rat infested brickwork eyesore blighting the skyline, or a fully renovated building with several upmarket restaurants and penthouse flats bringing business revenue into the town and tax money into the public coffers? What about the idea of a public vote? Crowd source the public view by poll? André
  • Score: 0

2:13pm Thu 15 Sep 11

newtactic says...

@ Andre. I understand the present owner bought the water tower with planning permission for development, but did nothing to carry it out. It could be speculated the recent plans submitted were even more impractical and unaffordable than the last ones, which is probably why the planners rejected them. Most Colcestrians are fond of the building and do not find it an eye sore. The brickwork is sound and good for another two centuries. The best solution is for the owner, all the interested heritage groups and the planners to get together to work out a practical and affordable way forward for this land-mark building.
@ Andre. I understand the present owner bought the water tower with planning permission for development, but did nothing to carry it out. It could be speculated the recent plans submitted were even more impractical and unaffordable than the last ones, which is probably why the planners rejected them. Most Colcestrians are fond of the building and do not find it an eye sore. The brickwork is sound and good for another two centuries. The best solution is for the owner, all the interested heritage groups and the planners to get together to work out a practical and affordable way forward for this land-mark building. newtactic
  • Score: 0

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