Snook Architects’ Neil Dawson has been granted planning permission by a unanimous vote at West Lancashire’s planning committee to erect a steel and glass house for his family on top of a listed Victorian water tower in Ormskirk.
Dawson said he will begin work on the project immediately, managing the build of the four-bedroom, three-storey house 200 feet in the air himself. He described it as a “job of a life” and “labour of love”. The first task will be to create a driveway and install water and electricity – there is no access and no services to the site.
The tower was built in 1855 and closed in 1905. It was sold into private hands in the 1980s and has changed ownership several times since but never been developed. A planning permission in 1985 was never delivered.
Dawson said the grade two star listed tower offers views as far as Wales to the west and Blackpool Tower to the north.
There will be four bedrooms on the upper floor, with open-plan kitchen diner lounger space on the middle floor and studio hobby space for art and exercise on the lowest floor. There will be a maintenance deck around the structure to enable window cleaning. Louvres were added to the design late on to obscure views to immediate neighbours, several of whom objected and spoke against the application at last night’s planning meeting.
In 2015, Snook’s Westmorland house in south Liverpool, see below, was among the RIBA houses of the year and featured in the TV series of the shortlist presented by Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs.