Designs for extension to 19th century Warsash clocktower come under fire from residents

A LISTED Warsash clocktower is set to have extension works, attracting criticism from local residents.

By Toby Paine
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 5:05 pm

Fareham Borough Council approved extension works to the historic building which dates back to the late 19th century.

During the planning committee Councillor Trevor Cartwright said: ‘The owner has done an awful lot of work, as we can see the clock tower has been done and kept in keeping - I’m happy to go through with the application.’

The tower, located on Shore Road, will see the ground and first floors extended to increase the living space within the property.

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An old postcard featuring the Warsash clock tower

During two public consultation periods, a total of 21 letters of objection were submitted from residents.

Adele Penny, from Warsash Road, said the plans are ‘out of character for the village’.

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She added: ‘The clock tower is central to the village and had been in place for possibly centuries - the village needs to keep the clock tower and preserve the village feel. Please don't ruin it.’

Cynthia Davidson, from Shore Road, said the designs would ‘ruin the integrity of the clock tower building’.

‘I agree it needs work on the outside, but only to restore what is already there. I also feel there will be a lot of disruption in the course of remodelling.’

Despite local concerns, councillors met the officer’s recommendation and approved the application.

The clock tower was originally built to supply up to 6000 gallons of water to Warsash House by gravity feed.

By the mid-1930’s the water tanks had rusted, the clock stopped working and the tower had become derelict.

The clock was built originally by Gillett and Johnston, who has been making and restoring clocks since 1844.

The clock was considered unique at the time as it struck ship's time (eight bells) which required 1 ton of cast iron to be raised to drive the mechanism.

The clock was repaired by a local police constable and others in time for the coronation King George VI and his wife Elizabeth in 1937.

In 1938, the tower was purchased at auction for £2,000 by Victor Collins who converted some of the surrounding buildings into garages.