United Utilities High Legh

UU auctions water tower house project

United Utilities has submitted plans to convert High Legh water tower near Knutsford into a four-bed home with conservatory and detached garage.

Initiatives Design of Weaverham was commissioned by United Utilities to design the residential conversion.

The proposed scheme, on six levels with a lift, would provide four en-suite bedrooms, ground floor kitchen/diner with adjoining conservatory, separate dining room and top floor lounge with mezzanine above, providing access to the roof, with views over the Cheshire plain.

The octagonal structure was built in 1938 to help improve local water pressure. It was designed in an art deco style for the former Bucklow Rural District Council on land transferred by Lord Grey of the Cornwall-Legh family. The building then passed to North West Water Authority in 1974 and later to United Utilities.

The water tower became redundant recently when United Utilities built a new water pumping station at Bucklow Hill. The FTSE 100 company now plans to sell the building.

Trevor Hosking, property development manager at United Utilities, said: "It's a distinctive building but it's reached the end of its operational life. The High Legh area has a much more reliable water supply these days thanks to the new pumping station so it's time to give the tower a new lease of life.

"If the plans are approved someone will have the chance to acquire a piece of local history and create a unique home in a wonderful setting with roof top views of the Cheshire countryside."

Local stories suggest that during the Second World War an anti-aircraft gun was stationed on the roof of the tower overlooking and protecting the former army camp, since replaced by The Belfry housing development.

The water tower shares a 0.75-acre landscaped plot with the adjacent Waterworks Cottage.
United Utilities intends to sell the tower and adjoining cottage via Meller Braggins' auction in February 2013.

Kerry James Planning in Denbigh advised United Utilities.

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