Residents want the council to tear down or refurbish a controversial water tower, after officers recommended refusing a planning application.

Livingstone Park residents welcomed Epsom and Ewell Council planning officers’ decision to recommend refusing plans to convert the twelve-storey Horton Water Tower at Cavendish Walk into a residential building with a twelve-storey extension.

But they are urging the council either to demolish or preserve the water tower, if the application is turned down by the Planning Committee tonight (Thursday).

Kate Battrick, who lives behind the tower, said: “They have to either demolish it or put on a proper preservation order and take responsibility for it. They can’t leave it like this.

“While we welcome the findings in the report, it does not address that Epsom Council has failed the residents in Livingstone Par, showing a lack of care and responsibility.”

The report, prepared by council officers, recommended refusal to the planning committee, saying “due to its siting, size and design, it would seriously harm the outlook of adjoining dwellings”

around it.

The report also read: “Due to its design and size, the proposed extension would harm the character and appearance of the existing tower and its townscape importance.

Livingstone Park residents have been fighting since May this year against proposals to develop the site.

The current planning application received over 150 letters of objection from residents, Stoneleigh and Auriol Park Residents’ Association, local MP Chris Grayling and others.

A council spokeswoman said: “Horton Water Tower is owned by London and Quadrant Housing Association. An existing permission for conversion has not been implemented for economic reasons.

“The outcome of this application will help determine whether the Water Tower can be brought back into beneficial use.

"If not, the owners must decide what to do with the property and the Council would be able to advise in this regard.

“The council is not in a position to require immediate resolution as the building is owned by London and Quadrant Housing Association and outside of the planning process, the Council has little control.”

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