Water tower is saved

OWNERS of Trimley water tower - one of the Felixstowe peninsula's best known landmarks - today gave a reassurance that it will not be demolished.Council chiefs had been told the 210ft high tower was suffering from concrete cancer and was to be knocked down.

OWNERS of Trimley water tower - one of the Felixstowe peninsula's best known landmarks - today gave a reassurance that it will not be demolished.

Council chiefs had been told the 210ft high tower was suffering from concrete cancer and was to be knocked down.

But the new owners, Propland Estates Limited say they have bought the distinctive pink-painted structure as an investment - and the profits from dozens of mobile phone masts which adorn its top.

News that the 71-year-old tower - which was sold off by Anglian Water after being decommissioned - is to stay was today welcomed by villagers.

Trimley St Mary Parish Council vice chairman Bryan Frost said: “It is a landmark for the area and I think most people will be pleased that it is not going to be knocked down, as long as it is safe.

“It does look as if we shall continue to have the top of it covered with these unsightly aerials and possibly even more in future.

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“At least though they will be in one place, and I feel it is important that these masts are on one site or that there should be one aerial which serves several companies.”

The big fear had been telecom companies' equipment would be evicted and they would have to find sites all around the area. One firm had already lodged two applications for alternative sites because of the possible demolition of the tower in Spriteshall Lane.

Derek Blatt, director of Telecoms Property Consultancy, agents for Propland Estates, said the owners had no intention of demolishing the tower.

He said: “The structure does not, as far as we are advised, have concrete cancer.

“There is some concrete spalling - in basic terms this is caused by corrosion of the steel reinforcement, meaning that rust expands and forces breaks in the concrete.

“The salt in the air does not assist once some corrosion has occurred.

“Our client is aware of this and remedial actions are planned but this is more cosmetic.

“The structural integrity of the water tower in its drained form is absolutely fine and it has plenty of capacity for further installations.”

Companies with aerials on the structure had been offered new leases and there was no need for them to find alternative sites.

Are you pleased the water tower is staying? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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