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Bargain opportunity to own Grade II-listed water tower near Wellington

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 21, 2013

  • Kai Logan, branch manager for estate agents Bradleys who are selling two grade II listed water towers at Rockwell Green, Wellington

  • Inside the tower

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A rare chance to buy a major landmark with stunning views comes up next month when two Grade II-listed water towers go under the hammer.

And there is potential to convert them into a spectacular home, provided planners approve, making a nest that even an eagle would envy.

The towers, which dominate the skyline at Rockwell Green, near Wellington, are among 22 Wessex Water assets being sold off because technology has moved on. The others include reservoirs and water treatment works.

International interest is expected in the auction which takes place at Taunton Racecourse on February 25.

The brick-built tower at Rockwell Green is believed to date from 1885 and boasts a distinctive conical cap and weather vane.

Its companion, made predominantly from concrete, dates from around 1934. The view from their tops includes the spire of a local church and the glorious Somerset countryside, although because of the nature of the existing ladders the agents are not allowing high level viewing.

Bradleys Estate Agents is handling the auction. Chris Baxter, director for Bradleys Corporate department, said “Some lots being offered start with a guide price of £1,000 and include underground reservoirs and pumping stations. The star lot of the historic landmark twin water towers has a guide of only £25,000.”

In the past four years, Bradleys has also sold a number of redundant assets for South West Water in Devon and Cornwall. Interest from around the world has been high, with typically people in more than 30 countries showing interest. Many have been ex-pat Britons hungry to own an unusual piece of their homeland.

“On one occasion a buyer flew in from Dubai to buy a folly over a pipeline at Fowey, which his wife turned into an artist’s studio,” said Mr Baxter.

The other lots include reservoirs and water treatment works at Puriton, South Petherton, Wiveliscombe, Blagdon Hill, Waterrow and Nether Stowey, among others.

In some cases, nearby landowners may want to add the sites to their holdings, but others could be bought by people wanting land for livestock, or even for a tiny private nature reserve. With some boasting springs, they are already likely to be home to newts and frogs and marshland plants.

Previous sales have generated half a million hits to the dedicated website. Mr Baxter said the guide prices mean the lots are attractive alternatives to investment in stocks and shares, and with potential for change of use subject to planning permission, could in general appreciate throughout the recession.

To see all the lots, visit www.wessexwater-auctions.co.uk.

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