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Sheerness water tower could become flats after planning permission granted

Plans to convert the historic water tower in Sheerness into flats have finally been agreed, three years after being submitted.

The proposals, put forward to Swale council in August 2014, are to redevelop the derelict tower in Trinity Road and build a new three-storey block next to it.

Under the plans, there would be a total of 29 flats and maisonettes, seven of which would be over three floors in the tower, with 27 parking spaces.

The dilapidated water tower in Sheerness
The dilapidated water tower in Sheerness

Mohammed Ayyub, who bought the plot in October 2014, said the development would ensure the “preservation of the deteriorating water tower” which has been there since the mid-1800s. He said: “It has taken us three years to secure planning permission and now we will stick to our plans to help to revive the town centre.

“As it is, the site is looking very deserted so, hopefully, once it has been redeveloped, it will bring something new to the town and, although it won’t bring the water tower back to life as such, it will be a building for people to admire and remember.”

When asked what the next stage would be, Mr Ayyub, from east London, said: “In terms of developers, everything was in the pipeline, but we are now some three years on and planning was only granted last week so I need to start talking to people.

"That will probably happen in the next few weeks.

Plans for Sheerness water tower include a new block of flats next to it
Plans for Sheerness water tower include a new block of flats next to it

“We have to deliver the scheme within three years, so that’s what we’re working with.” Proposals along the same lines were also put forward in 2004 and 2007.

Both were granted but have since expired.

Over the years, various ideas for the building have been suggested ranging from a cinema and nightclub to an art gallery, farmers’ market, restaurant and flats.

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