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Future of historic water tower in Sheerness still uncertain

The future of a historic water tower is still yet to be decided after no action was taken following the approval of plans.

The structure, in Trinity Road, Sheerness, has been derelict for some years but has always been an Island icon.

The dilapidated Sheerness water tower
The dilapidated Sheerness water tower

According to Land Registry, the building is owned by Mohammed Ayyub - a director of Janjua Properties Limited, a real estate firm established in 2015 listed dormant last year.

It was bought for £250,000 but it is not known when the property was last sold. Proposals were submitted to Swale council in 2014.

The plans were for 29 flats and maisonettes, including 27 parking spaces, within the retained buildings as well as a new block.

They were approved in 2017 but architect CalfordSeaden said it had not been asked to complete any work.

Sheerness Town Council member, Cllr Brian Spoor, said the structure should be secured while a decision is made.

Brian Spoor, chairman of the Sheerness Town Team
Brian Spoor, chairman of the Sheerness Town Team

He said: “What should be happening is the owners should be made to clean the place up because it’s in a disgusting state.

“The outside is just a dumping ground. What I want to do with Sheerness Town Council is find out who the owner is and tell them to clean their act up.

“The owners should be made to clean it up and even if they don’t we should get Swale Borough Council or Sheerness Town Council to take it on and give them the bill.

“If they don’t respond then the council, Swale or Sheerness, can take the job on themselves and make them pay for it.

“Or there could be a compulsory purchase order to bring it back in the hands of Swale Borough Council and they could do something with it. It’s an important building for Sheppey but it’s just money holding things back.”

The water tower in Trinity Road
The water tower in Trinity Road

People have been having their say on what they think the water tower should be.

Sharing their views on the Times Guardian Facebook page, suggestions included accommodation for key workers and the homeless.

The post attracted more than 250 comments.

Susan Betts commented: “Nice restaurant and wine bar for the evening and a tea room during the day.

“Landscape the area to make lovely gardens.”

The water tower in 1898. Picture: Colin Harvey
The water tower in 1898. Picture: Colin Harvey

Jo Connolly said: “It could be a homeless shelter with all the support to help them get back on their feet.”

Candace Waller and Darren Davey said they would like to see it turned into a cinema.

Meanwhile, Jacky Palmer wants a hub for the Island’s history with visits from speakers and displays used to educate school children about the county’s heritage.

Rev Cindy Kent said: “I would make it into affordable flats and keep the shape of the building exactly the same. It’s iconic,” a view shared on Twitter by Swale council’s cabinet member for housing, Cllr Ben J Martin (Lib Dem).

What do you think? Email your suggestions to timesguardian@thekmgroup.co.uk

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey


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