The extension and conversion of the Victorian water tower in Frederick Drive, Walton into luxury apartments is set to finally go ahead after an application to renew planning permission was recommended to be granted.
The tower was designed by city architect Alan Riddle in 1912 and was tower was part of the so-called “forgotten factory” used by Perkins to build aeroplanes during the First World War.
The factory was sold for £11.7 million in 1989 to The Parkfield Group, operating as Triplex, and finally closed down in 2000.
The buildings that made up the factory became derelict and most were demolished in 2010 leaving only the The iconic Sages Factory Water Tower. A new housing estate was built in 2014 with 117 homes.
In 2018, Azar Iqbal and Mohammed Amjad, from Stone Investments, had plans approved to convert the tower into six floors to form two one-bed dwellings and two two-bed dwellings. They also intended to add a four storey extension- with the flats to run across the original and new towers.
Speaking in 2019, Mr Iqbal said: “We wanted to keep the look of the building as it was, and the council were keen as well. The Sage and Co sign will be brought back to its former glory.
“We will be making luxury flats. The main tower is six storeys high, and we will be adding an extension, which is four storeys. The flats will run across both the original and the new tower. There will also be six parking bays.
“There has been a lot of hard work to get to this stage, but it will be worth it. With the tower empty at the moment, it is no good to anyone.”
The permission granted to these plans lapsed in March, however, and have had to be submitted. They have been and are identical to the original plans but still need new approval before work can start.
There have been seven objections relating to issues such as impact on the privacy of existing houses, increased risk of speeding and the potential loss of a play park but officers have recommended that plans be approved once again when they go before the city’s Planning and Environmental Protection Committee on Tuesday afternoon.