Derelict water tower in Rushmere St Andrew to be converted into a house

Plans have been submitted for a water tower in Tuddenham lane, Rushmere St Andrew, Suffolk to be converted into a house

Plans have been submitted for a water tower in Tuddenham lane, in Rushmere St Andrew to be converted into a house - Credit: Andrew Lightfoot/Ben Willis

Plans have been submitted to turn a water tower in Rushmere St Andrew, near Ipswich, into a house.

The disused smaller tower on Tuddenham Lane, towards the north of the parish, will be worked on by Vision DPC.

The project was approved by planners in February, but another application since been submitted to remove some minor conditions. 

According to East Suffolk Council's Heritage Impact Assessment the tower was built more than 100 years ago in 1903-1905, on the land of farmer and MP for Woodbridge Robert Lacey. 

The water tower at Rushmere St Andrew, Near Ipswich, Suffolk

The tower as it appears at the moment - Credit: Google


Ben Willis, director at vision, said: "We saw it and fell in love with the building itself. It's one of those buildings you would walk past every day and not notice, but when you look at it you see it's incredible.

"We spent a year working with the council to reach a unique design. It implements some modern features, which are juxtaposed really nicely with the existing elements.

"The original tower is an old industrial style build, and by using Corten Steel we hope to give the extension a more modern industrial feel to complement that. The only element of the tower that's being replaced is the tank at the top."

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Internally, the tower will be split into a study/studio, a staircase and a utility room, while the tank on top will be replaced by a new zinc box. 

Attached to the tower is what in effect will be a new dwelling, connected by a flat roofed link block that ensures the towers distinctive shape is maintained.

The house will have two bedrooms upstairs, both with ensuites and an extensive kitchen and lounge on the ground floor. 

The house built into a water tower at rushmere st andrew, ipswich, Suffolk

The tower will have what is essentially a complete house attached to it - Credit: Andrew Lightfoot/Ben Willis

Mr Willis added: "We worked very closely with the East Suffolk Conservation team, who have been excellent. Because we put our due diligence into the design, all the statutory consultees approved of it straight away. 

"We were particularly pleased that the parish council approved of our decision to retain the tower.

"There are not many water towers this small remaining- they all got knocked down- that's why East Suffolk Council were so keen to name it a non designated heritage asset, which is one step down from being listed."