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Residents' fury over lofty ambitions

PUBLISHED: 03:28 17 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:12 03 March 2010

LOFTY ambitions to transform the use of a former Melton water tower have prompted a wave of objections from residents.

More than 30 residents who live near the tower, in Clements Road, Melton Park, have signed a petition against the moves.

LOFTY ambitions to transform the use of a former Melton water tower have prompted a wave of objections from residents.

More than 30 residents who live near the tower, in Clements Road, Melton Park, have signed a petition against the moves. Some residents are even prepared to club together and raise the funds to buy the six-floor tower themselves.

Christine Gosling, of Clements Road, said: "We are living in properties that are fairly expensive and we feel this would detract from the area.

"If it was offered for sale at a reasonable price, I'm sure we could do something. It's obviously in our interest to protect the area we live in."

The tower is currently unused but two applications have been lodged with Suffolk Coastal district council to convert it into offices or a house.

The proposal to convert it into offices hopes to create jobs for six employees. In both proposals, it is planned to add an extension on to the base of the tower.

Residents of Clements Road believe the extension would overlook their properties and infringe on their privacy. They also think that the extra vehicles could clog up their quiet road.

Gavin Clunie, of Clements Road, feels the plans would detract from the area.

He said: "There are a lot of children who play in this area and it would make it less safe for them to have more cars around.

"To let a commercial property be set up in a dense residential area just doesn't make sense and we don't feel the views of the residents are being considered. Is there really a need for it?"

Although residents have registered their objections, Melton councillor Penny Warburg, of Suffolk Coastal district council, has supported the plans.

She said: "The residents' concerns must be given full consideration in terms of privacy and noise but on planning terms, I feel this application is acceptable.

"There will be benefits of having people working here during office hours and, with working conditions and building regulations adhered to, it could enhance the atmosphere of Melton Park."

A decision is due to be made on the proposals at a meeting of Suffolk Coastal district council on Thursday.

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