Country houses for sale

A 40ft-high former water tower in Hampshire that could be the next great Grand Design for £45,000

This water tower on Eagle Road offers those with a bold vision the chance to create a unique family home near the desirable town of Newbury.

What’s 40ft high, has three bedrooms, and doesn’t technically exist yet? Why, it’s this water tower in the village of North Sydmonton in Hampshire of course. We here at Country Life love a good restoration/conversion project, and this is certainly one to whet the appetite.

How the water tower currently looks.

Originally constructed to serve the housing estate that it sits on, which was itself originally constructed to serve the American Air Force base at RAF Greenham Common. The tower is now ready for a new lease of life, and will go up for auction with Savills with a guide price of £45,000 on April 16.

Water-tower conversions are all the rage, providing an interesting plan of living that relies on height rather than width, for obvious reasons. Who can forget the drama of the Kennington Water Tower that featured on Grand Designs, or this brutalist water tower in Cambridgeshire that was sold at auction last year for £350,000.

How the water tower could look, according to the current plans.

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The good news is that this particular example already has planning permission on a design for a two-to-three bedroom home. According to the plans, an entrance hall would occupy the ground floor, with the bedrooms then ‘stacked’ on top. The original tank would be converted into a kitchen/dining room/entertaining space, with a roof terrace on top. The original plans featured solar panels and a wind turbine on the roof, but those have now expired. Space to park two cars would be provided in the undercroft. Or, if you want something completely different from your new water tower, why not consult the Country Life Top 100?

Few better spots to take advantage of the North Wessex Downs than from atop your water tower I reckon. Credit: Peter Orr/Getty Images

‘Every now and again we get a water tower come to auction and historically there’s been a good level of demand for these quirky lots,’ Savills auctioneer Steven Cane told the Evening Standard. ‘I’d expect there to be a good level of interest on the day with interest likely to come from developers, investors or an end user looking to create a distinctive residence.’

Water, water everywhere, except in this tower anymore.

The tower is also in a prime location near Newbury, just on the outskirts of the North Wessex Downs. At 40 feet up, seeing the surrounding countryside will be no problem at all, while the village offers plenty in terms of amenities. 

For sale via auction with Savills. For more information and pictures, click here

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