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The £1m water towers homes following in the footsteps of Grand Designs

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Do you remember the episode of Grand Designs when a South London water tower was converted into a family home? 

The episode saw a couple buy a Grade II listed building in Kennington for £380,000 – and then spent almost £2million converting it from a crumbling ruin into a family home.

Well, if you have ever thought ‘I would love to live in a building like that but I wouldn’t want the hassle of converting it’, we may have found a solution – in the shape of three finished water tower conversions for sale. 

This water tower in South London's Kennington was converted and the transformation was covered on TV's Grand Designs

This water tower in South London’s Kennington was converted and the transformation was covered on TV’s Grand Designs

We pick three luxury converted water towers that are on the market and range in price from £1.25million to £1.4million

We pick three luxury converted water towers that are on the market and range in price from £1.25million to £1.4million

While the water towers for sale may be ready to move into and avoid all the hassle of converting them into family homes, they all still have an expensive price tag.

They are all valued at between £1.25million and £1.4million, and are located in Warwickshire, Colchester, and West Sussex.

We take a look inside each of the three converted water towers for sale on the property website OnTheMarket.

Three converted water towers for sale…

1. Four-bed home in Steyning, West Sussex, £1.35m 

This water tower in Steyning, West Sussex, was designed by Maxwell Ayrton - the architect who designed the original Twin Towers at Wembley Stadium

This water tower in Steyning, West Sussex, was designed by Maxwell Ayrton – the architect who designed the original Twin Towers at Wembley Stadium

The tower was built in about 1930 for Sir Arthur Howard as part of the Wappingthorn Estate, which the living room overlooks

The tower was built in about 1930 for Sir Arthur Howard as part of the Wappingthorn Estate, which the living room overlooks

The tower is constructed of reinforced concrete with a gently rising 'helter skelter' external staircase that wraps around the tower

The tower is constructed of reinforced concrete with a gently rising ‘helter skelter’ external staircase that wraps around the tower

This unusual and octagonal Grade II listed tower was designed by Maxwell Ayrton, the architect who designed the original Twin Towers at Wembley Stadium.

The tower was built in about 1930 for Sir Arthur Howard as part of the Wappingthorn Estate and is constructed of reinforced concrete with a gently rising ‘helter skelter’ external staircase that wraps around the tower, providing far-reaching rural views as it rises up the building.

The water tower is approached via a private lane that runs through the Wappingthorn Estate, in West Sussex’s Steyning.

Helen Whiteley, of OnTheMarket.com, said: ‘This four-bedroom former water tower is potentially one of the most visually striking properties we have seen come to market in recent months thanks to its concrete exterior and ‘helter-skelter’ staircase.

‘Being located in a peaceful, rural location just north of the South Downs also makes this home very desirable for those looking to make their next move to a home with lots of outdoor space.’

The property has four bedrooms and is on the market via RH & RW Clutton estate agents with a price tag of £1.35million.

2. Four-bed home in Kenilworth, Warwickshire £1.4m 

This water tower in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, is thought to have been originally built as a windmill in the middle of the eighteenth century

This water tower in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, is thought to have been originally built as a windmill in the middle of the eighteenth century

The unusual property has a brightly coloured bespoke fitted circular kitchen, as well as four double bedrooms

The unusual property has a brightly coloured bespoke fitted circular kitchen, as well as four double bedrooms

There is a large sun terrace on the first floor and a balcony on the fifth floor that boasts views across Kenilworth and Warwickshire

There is a large sun terrace on the first floor and a balcony on the fifth floor that boasts views across Kenilworth and Warwickshire

This water tower in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, can be seen from miles around and is thought to have been originally built as a windmill in the middle of the eighteenth century, and then converted into a water tower in 1885.

The property has a bespoke fitted circular kitchen and living area, four double bedrooms, a study and a family bathroom.

There is also a large sun terrace on the first floor and a balcony on the fifth floor that boasts views across Kenilworth and Warwickshire.

It sits on a third of an acre and comes with a garage and parking for six cars. It is being sold via estate agents Fine & Country for £1.4million.

Ms Whiteley, of OnTheMarket.com, said: ‘This iconic property delivers on all the elements of many buyers’ wish lists, a rich history, peaceful location, generous outdoor space, and modern interior.

‘The statement kitchen and immaculate neutral décor offer the next buyer the ability to ‘move in and go’, which is rare in period and character properties, and will no doubt ensure it generates a lot of interest.’

3. Three-bed in Tiptree, Colchester for £1.25m 

This water tower is on the outer edge of the village of Tiptree in Colchester and is on the market or £1.25million

This water tower is on the outer edge of the village of Tiptree in Colchester and is on the market or £1.25million

The living area on the first floor includes a modern kitchen and a dining area where there is currently a large glass table

The living area on the first floor includes a modern kitchen and a dining area where there is currently a large glass table

The water tower has three bedrooms and stairs that continue up into a stunning loft room with skylights

The water tower has three bedrooms and stairs that continue up into a stunning loft room with skylights

This water tower is on the outer edge of the village of Tiptree in Colchester and is the least expensive on our list with a price tag of £1.25million. It is being sold via Fine & Country.

The property has two bedrooms and a bathroom on the ground floor, a kitchen on the first, a living room on the second and a main bedroom with an ensuite and dressing room on the top floor. The stairs continue into a loft room with skylights.

Ms Whiteley said: ‘It’s not often that we see properties as unique as this one come to market, so to see more than one historic water tower become available during the current market is quite something.

‘The Old Water Tower in Tiptree beautifully marries the old and the new as behind the original façade of the property lies a well-designed interior perfect for modern living in a home with already existing character.’

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Zappone turns down invitation to appear before committee to discuss envoy role

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Former minister Katherine Zappone has turned down an invitation to appear before an Oireachtas committee to explain the circumstances surrounding her now-scrapped appointment as a special envoy.

The chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan confirmed on Monday that Ms Zappone had declined an invitation to attend to discuss the matter.

The committee, which met last Wednesday in private session, agreed to write to the former minister and invite her to appear before it.

It is understood the decision was taken at a private meeting after it was proposed by Sinn Féin spokesman on foreign affairs John Brady and his Social Democrats counterpart Gary Gannon.

The committee is also to invite Martin Fraser, the secretary general of the Department of the Taoiseach and the State’s highest-ranking civil servant, to address the issue of precisely when Ms Zappone’s name was communicated to the Department of the Taoiseach.

Controversy erupted over an attempt by Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney to appoint Ms Zappone as a special envoy for freedom of expression and LGBTQ+ rights.

Mr Coveney – who is attending UN meetings this week in New York – last week faced down a motion of no confidence as a result of his handling of the matter.

Earlier this month, Mr Coveney told the Oireachtas Committee Ms Zappone was mistaken in her belief she had been offered the job last March.

Mr Coveney also rejected claims that Ms Zappone lobbied for the position or that he breached Freedom of Information legislation by deleting texts between himself and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

However, Mr Coveney apologised for “sloppiness”, and for making mistakes in the past few weeks.

Records released by the Department of Foreign Affairs show Ms Zappone texted Mr Coveney to thank him on March 4th “so, so much for offering me this incredible opportunity”.

In mid-July she sent another message of thanks but Mr Coveney has insisted nothing had been formally agreed until it came to Cabinet on July 27th.

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Lori Loughlin and fashion designer husband drop $13M on Palm Desert vacation home

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Former Full House actress, Lori Loughlin, and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have dropped $13million on a gated Palm Desert, California, oasis, following their release from prison for their involvement in the college-admissions scandal.  

Loughlin, who was released from prison in December, with her husband following in April, appear to be celebrating their newfound freedom with the purchase of their vacation getaway in the La Quinta community.

The five-bedroom, 5.5 bathroom home, situated in the guard-gated exclusive Madison Club, comes lavished with several amenities, including a wine cellar, movie theater, two pools, two spas, a wet bar and an outdoor projector-theater.  

Former Full House actress, Lori Loughlin, and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have dropped $13million on a gated Palm Desert, California, oasis, following their release from prison for their involvement in the college-admissions scandal.

Former Full House actress, Lori Loughlin, and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have dropped $13million on a gated Palm Desert, California, oasis, following their release from prison for their involvement in the college-admissions scandal.

The open dining and living room area is perfect for watching L.A sunsets

The open dining and living room area is perfect for watching L.A sunsets 

The home comes equipped with several outdoor fireplaces, perfect for entertaining guests on chilly evenings

The home comes equipped with several outdoor fireplaces, perfect for entertaining guests on chilly evenings 

Opulent swimming pools encompass the outdoor area, in addition to an outdoor projector for watching films

Opulent swimming pools encompass the outdoor area, in addition to an outdoor projector for watching films 

The home comes lavished with several amenities, including a wine cellar, movie theater, two pools, outdoor fireplaces, two spas, a wet bar and an outdoor projector-theater

The home comes lavished with several amenities, including a wine cellar, movie theater, two pools, outdoor fireplaces, two spas, a wet bar and an outdoor projector-theater 

Former 'Full House' actress, Lori Loughlin, (right) and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, (left) have dropped $13 million on a gated Palm Desert, California, oasis

Former ‘Full House’ actress, Lori Loughlin, (right) and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, (left) have dropped $13 million on a gated Palm Desert, California, oasis

Built in 2019, the home was formally owned by Assurance co-founder Michael Rowell and his wife, Alexis, who purchased it for only $9.5 million. 

A few of their neighbors include Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Nike’s Phil Knight, Cindy Crawford and Scooter Braun. 

The purchase comes a year after Loughlin and Giannulli bought a $9.5 million modern farmhouse in the Hidden Hills area of Los Angeles.      

A federal judge in Boston recently granted Loughlin ‘expedited’ permission to travel to Canada to possibly rekindle her career. The request was necessary as she remains on probation.

The five-bedroom, 5.5 bathroom home is situated in the guard-gated exclusive Madison Club in the La Quinta community

The five-bedroom, 5.5 bathroom home is situated in the guard-gated exclusive Madison Club in the La Quinta community

Built in 2019, the home was formally owned by Assurance co-founder Michael Rowell and his wife, Alexis, who purchased it for only $9.5 million

Built in 2019, the home was formally owned by Assurance co-founder Michael Rowell and his wife, Alexis, who purchased it for only $9.5 million

An large dining area opens out onto the terrace, as an intricate chandelier hangs from the ceiling

An large dining area opens out onto the terrace, as an intricate chandelier hangs from the ceiling

Also featured in the amenities is a chic, oversized wine cellar

Also featured in the amenities is a chic, oversized wine cellar 

Loughlin was unable to travel due to her prison sentence and ensuing community service commitments stemming from her involvement in the ‘Operation Varsity Blues’ scheme, which involved wealthy parents paying large sums of money to get their kids into elite universities.    

‘Ms. Loughlin anticipates she will be traveling for about one week’ and is ‘being offered a filming production project’ if granted permission, her initial request sent by a probation official stated.   

It emerged in 2019 that Lori and Giannulli bribed their daughters Olivia and Isabella’s way into University Of Southern California.

Lori and her fashion designer husband paid $500,000 to falsely pass the girls off as potential college rowers on USC’s rowing team.

Although they initially claimed to be innocent, Mossimo pled guilty last May to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services and mail fraud, while Lori pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.  

Giannulli was sentenced to five months, while Loughlin served two months behind bars.

It emerged in 2019 that Lori and Giannulli bribed their daughters Olivia and Isabella's way into University Of Southern California

It emerged in 2019 that Lori and Giannulli bribed their daughters Olivia and Isabella’s way into University Of Southern California

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Tenor fails to rent home as work in Covid-hit sector deemed precarious

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An Irish tenor, who has performed for presidents and emperors and been shortlisted for a Grammy award, is struggling to rent a home in Dublin because of a perception that working in the Covid-19-hit entertainment industry makes him a risk.

Paul Byrom said he was “knocked for six” last week after a potential landlord refused to even meet him on the grounds that the pandemic had made his profession singularly unsuitable for the rental market.

Byrom has earned his living as a musician for more than 20 years and has performed for Emperor Akihito of Japan, former Irish presidents Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson and former US president Barack Obama.

He was one of the original soloists in the Celtic Thunder show that toured the world and had number one albums on the World Billboard Chart. A solo album, This is the Moment, debuted at number one on the same chart and was shortlisted for a Grammy nomination.

Byrom has continued to work online during the pandemic and is looking forward to restarting his live career soon. “I am no Bono, but I am not starting out in the game,” he said.

However, none of his achievements appear to have been good enough for one Dublin landlord. Byrom said he and his girlfriend were keen to move to a bigger home and found a two-bedroom house in south county Dublin advertised at a rent of €2,000 a month.

‘Exemplary tenant’

It was being let by the estate agent which manages the property the couple currently live in and he was assured that, as an “exemplary tenant” for more than three years, his application would most likely be considered favourably.

“The estate agents said that while it was looking after the letting, it wouldn’t be the management company and the guy who owned it would be the point of contact,” Byrom said. “I was told that the landlord would want to meet me and I had no problem with any of that – I thought that made sense.”

He and his girlfriend assembled all the paperwork including her payslips and details of his earnings from his accountant. “I had moved in in my head but then I got a phone call saying the application had been rejected,” he said.

His mother joked that he had been turned down “because the landlord didn’t want you practising your Ave Maria’s at 10 in the morning.”

But that was not the reason. It emerged that the “landlord thought that because Covid had hit my industry hard he would be too nervous to take me on. He simply didn’t want anyone from the entertainment industry,” Byrom said.

Mortgage

He said struggling to rent or get a mortgage were not the only issues entertainers encounter.

“Try and look for car insurance as a singer and the companies don’t want to know. So I can’t drive a car or rent a home or even take advantage of the bike to work tax scheme because I am self employed.

“And this is a country that claims to be the land of the bards and the poets. The amount of roadblocks put in an entertainer’s way are just crazy, but then they will say get out there and sing Danny Boy and represent the country. You’d have to wonder if Ireland wants artists to be here at all.”


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