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Unique Property Bulletin 22 June 2014


AAA Jumbo Chris McAuley Unique Property Bulletin

Jumbo Water Tower, Balkerne Gardens, Colchester, CO1 1PR (c) Chris McAuley 

Last week’s Unique Property Bulletin featured a couple of favourite acronyms to help readers in that search for the interesting abode. This week we have a fresh acronym: TOTGA: The One That Got Away. But and here’s the thing, TOTGA has been good to us. It has been part of our succeeding when we thought we had failed to secure a magical place to live. Better still, in one instance, TOTGA saved us £20,000. Fact. There is a way for catching the one that got away second time around.

We will narrate that example later in this Bulletin, but this week we have a new prospective TOTGA – just ONE of many that can be found. It is a huge structure that dominates the ancient settlement of Colchester. The name of this monumental building?


We bid for it back in the late 1980s. It certainly has some history. Whilst our attention was taken in another tasty building direction wayback then, and we didn’t buy Jumbo, someone else did. We feature more on Jumbo, TOTGA and how all this can help you as a unique property person, in this week’s editorial below.

As for the recent auction of Jumbo? This monolith recently sold for £190,000 [and might, just might be for sale again]. The auction details should be here:-


For the above Allsops weblink to work, you may need to click it once, then press backward link and press a second time [the wonders of the internet!]

Auctioneer’s Narrative: The ‘Jumbo’ Water Tower is a well known landmark and is situated at the centre of Colchester, to the south side of Balkerne Passage and immediately to the west of its junction with North Hill. The property occupies an elevated position and benefits from excellent and uninterrupted views of Colchester and beyond. The property is located in a principally pedestrian area with the amenities and extensive shopping facilities of Colchester Town Centre being within easy reach as is the mainline rail station. Road communications are afforded by the nearby A12 which provides access to the M25 Motorway and London to the south-west as well as Ipswich and Norwich to the north.

‘Jumbo’ is England’s largest Victorian Water Tower with construction having been completed in 1883 from a total of 1,200,000 bricks and 400 tonnes of cement. The tower’s height from ground level to the roof apex is approximately 40m (131′ 5″). The property benefits from a viewing platform at its uppermost level which is accessed via 157 steps through a central spiral staircase. The tower has remained disused since its closure in 1988, but has become a well loved landmark at the centre of the town.

The Water Tower stands on five brick piers, in the centre of which is an enclosed cast iron spiral staircase.

The staircase rises by 97 steps to the:

First Level – measuring approximately 130 sq m (1,400 sq ft).
The staircase rises by a further 36 steps to:
The Tank Level – measuring approximately 280 sq m (3,000 sq ft).
The staircase then rises by a further 22 steps to:
The Belvedere (viewing platform) – measuring approximately 10 sq m (111 sq ft). The platform affords magnificent views in each direction.

The property affords potential for change of use and conversion subject to obtaining all necessary consents and was previously the subject of planning permission (granted on appeal) dated 11th December 2001 (Application Nos. APP/A1530/E/01/1067657 & 8 and APP/A1530/E/01/1071825 & 6) for ‘alterations and renovations of the building to form a single residence with limited public access to Belvedere (viewing platform)’.


Water Tower Conversion

Ready For Sale & Occupation

AAA Water Tower Bitteswell Road Unique Property Bulletin

Water Tower, Bitteswell Road, Lutterworth, Leicestershire LE17 4EN

Following on from the Colchester’s Jumbo Water Tower and TOTGA process, in case you would like one of these to buy, right here and now, and ready to move into we have a wonderful water tower candidate in Leicestershire for sale.

Guide Reduced From £595,000 to £549,950

Tel – Strutt & Parker: 01858 438723 – Edward Brassey


Former Lighthouse Keeper’s Home For Sale


Either A Splendid Home Or A Prestigeous Rental Property

Also: Will You Be Our New Neighbour? 

Scurdie Ness RSZ 2

Scurdie Ness Lighthouse Buildings (c) 2014 Savills

Scurdie Ness Lighthouse Syndicate

2 Bedroom Former Lighthouse Keeper’s Flat For Sale £170,000

One last piece remains for sale in this three-way jigsaw property, for our co-ordinated bid to buy this remarkable place. The whole compound is for sale at “offers over” £360,000. However, like previous lighthouse compounds we and our subscribers/members have purchased, identified THREE elements at Scurdie Ness that may be bought on an individual and separate basis. This makes the whole sale proposition much more affordable for individual buyers. Easier to buy a £170,000 flat than a £360,000 compound. To date, two of the three elements are effectively earmarked by our buyers in waiting. The final part of the jigsaw is one of the former lighthouse keeper’s dwellings – a 2 bed flat:-

Lighthouse Keeper’s Home: Scurdie Ness

We already have friends and colleagues ready to purchase the other elements – including a new office from which to run our growing list of websites:-

Unique Property Bulletin


Lighthouses For Sale Or Rent


Grand Designs For Sale

As well as the unique nature of this fabulous place to stay at Scurdie Ness Lighthouse Compound, it has a number of extra special features:-

1] Remote but remarkably accessible. Scurdie Ness Lighthouse Keepers’ Dwellings are just 32 miles from Dundee Airport. Scheduled flights from Dundee Airport fly most days to Stansted Airport. Which in turn is a mere 47 minutes to the centre of London. Dundee Airport is one of the most civilised we have ever encountered. You can still drive to the front door of this airport or get parked by the main terminal without all of the hassle of many larger airports. So whether by airplane, train or car – Scurdie Ness Lighthouse houses are accessible from most parts of the UK in a matter of a few hours. Yet this beautiful place feels so remote, picturesque, safe and idyllic.

2] If you buy this coastal property as a holiday rental investment, you have neighbouring office – ourselves – with a high Google ranked website…

Lighthouses For Sale Or Rent

…to promote your holiday rental property, and if needed manage it for you. Just Google “lighthouses for rent” and see how a high ranking website might help your new rental property.

3] As well as an interesting and solid investment property at Scurdie Ness Lighthouse, you have a place to visit personally and recharge your own batteries when the need arises. We know this place well, and it is wonderfully relaxing and the views are visually calming.

4] If you buy this remaining 2 bed property as a new home, it has all the advantages of being off the beaten track, whilst just a short drive from the coastal town of Montrose, and major city of Dundee which have all the facilities of modern life you might require. After which you can return to your unique lighthouse keeper’s home on your own long private driveway.

A Scurdieness Two Flat Floorplan - Currently utilised as One Dwellinghouse

Scurdie Ness Lighthouse Buildings Plan Layout (c) 2014 Savills

The Original Two Flatted Dwelling Layout Still Exists.

Please note this Unique Property Syndicate is not official Savills estate agency policy. The owners and their estate agents have been availed of this option, our proposals and firm interest – we have a good channel of communication – with a positive and constructive dialogue. Hopefully a mutually beneficial outcome for all concerned will result. If you would like to look at buying the remaining flatted dwelling and study the process of having a combined offer submitted through the Syndicate solicitors, please can you get in touch with us:

Scurdie Ness Lighthouse 2 Bed Flat Enquiry Page: Click Here


Lighthouses For Sale Website: Click Here




Nuclear Bunker Plan Drawings & Title Documents

AAA UKWMO ASHWELL Unique Property Bulletin Plan Drawings

UKWMO ROC Nuclear Bunker Ashwell (c) Owner’s Collection

UKWMO Bunker, Ashwell, Baldock, Hertfordshire, SG7 5RA

Ordnance Survey National Grid Ref: TL26943877

Offers Over £20,000

Thank you for the emails relating to this exclusive Unique Property Bulletin sale of the UKWMO ROC Nuclear Bunker at Ashwell featured in our earlier Bulletin. As promised we can now provide the complete Title Plan & Documentation plan pack from the earlier MoD disposal to the current owners.

For copyright reasons, we cannot display these documents on the main website. You will need to click the link below and use your MEMBERS password to access the full set of UKWMO Documents. If you have forgotten your password and need a reminder, or if you would like to become a member of the Unique Property Bulletin subscribers group [free to join] just:

Click Here For Password Reminder/Request

…and we shall send you the password. Many thanks.

For UKWMO Ashwell Title Plans & Drawings…


For the password or reminder, please Click Here






Detached Playbarn

 AAA Playbarn For Sale Unique Property Bulletin

Former Mixenden Playbarn, Slippy Lane, Mixenden, Halifax, HX2 8QE

Guide: £35,000

One for property players with a passion for unusual buildings and a penchant for bargain prices.

Contact – Eddisons: 0113 243 0101 or: Click Here


Special Article – 12 Churches List

Church St Columba Stanley Howe MAIN

St. Columba Church (c) 2014 Stanley Howe

Guide: £85,000

Just one of 12 churches for sale.

This week we have a Special Article Feature listing 12 churches for sale. This is an added extra for those readers who like this genre of unusual building. There is a modest £1.56 donation to access this extra list of 12 churches for sale. The modest donation significantly helps towards our fundraising, and pays for this website’s hosting and IT fees. These donations also keeps the main Sunday night, 9pm Unique Property Bulletin FREE to access for everyone. To access this spiritual abode list, please click the following Donate Button – with our thanks and appreciation ….

It is important to note, the Donate/Paypal system doesn’t let you back into the 12 Churches Special Article webpage for a second look – or as many visits as you wish for the currency of the article [two months]. The good news is you can revisit this webpage by clicking here:

Special Article Feature: Return Visit Page – Click Here

Please remember the PASSWORD that your Donation Reply gives you.


Jumping Gym

AAA Manygates Gym Unique Property Bulletin

Former Adult Education Centre, Manygates Lane, Wakefield, WF2 7DQ

This is an interesting lump of property. Certainly unusual, and subject to planning might make a spacious anf unique home for a fitness fanatic.

Jump right in – Almost an acre of land too.

Guide: £100,000

Tel – Eddisons: 0113 243 0101


Water Treatment Does Work

AAA Water Treatment Works Unique Property Bulletin

Former Water Treatment Works, Off Mewith Lane, High Bentham, Lancaster, LA2 7AY

For some reason the politely named “water treatment works” aka jobby processing factory are very popular for conversion to an unusual home. We shouldn’t be surprised. Famously architect Laura Clark worked wonders with her “water treatment works”…

Although that was in London where the property market is often scary given the propensity to have several zeros after the price of any given building.

The High Bentham WTW we feature here is a much larger property with more area, and a gentler price guide

Importantly we are advised that planning permission has been obtained to convert WTW Bentham into a residential/work unit. Ideal for those seeking a new home with a short 60 second commute to their place of work.

Guide: £150,000

Tel – Eddisons: 0113 243 0101


Do Doors In Places Like This Hold The

Future For The Unique Property Bulletin?

EIS PLC Debate 1

Advice From Readers Please

Whilst researching an article to cover past and possible future Unique Property Syndicates, we came across a very interesting tax efficient government scheme for public share issue growth of companies.

This is NOT a Unique Property Syndicate per sē, but possibly an interesting process of growing the internet company that supports Unique Property Bulletin and other sister websites. Whilst doing so in a very tax efficient way for participants. We have run two plc share issues in past years, but we could still do with a little advice on the tax efficient EIS flavour and technicalities please.

So this is a request for any Unique Property Bulletin reader/s with the relevant know-how to gently guide us towards the best experts in the field.

IMPORTANT: This is NOT an invitation to subscribe for shares. The page link immediately below is to provide background for a proposal we are working through. It is NOT a Unique Property Syndicate NOR a public share issue prospectus.

Further information is sought from industry professionals who may be able to help:

Unique Property Bulletin Internet Business Treatise: Click Here


The webpage link above IS a review of existing legislation and a pen-drawing of how we may grow the Unique Property Bulletin with an asset backed share issue. The text on the above page is ONLY for industry professionals who are also readers of the Unique Property Bulletin. As like-minded individuals who, from experience, may be able to offer advice on whether spending several thousand pounds in solicitors and accountants fees for a public limited company (plc) share issue via the tax efficient Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is an effective way forward for our growing group of internet websites.


Architecturally Unique …

For George & Tigers

AAA Dupli Casa By Mayer

Wow Design Factor: Dupli Casa (c) J. Mayer Architects

George Clarke is one of our favourite television architects. From this end of the keyboard it has been an absolute pleasure researching and typing away since our first unique property and Bulletin in 1987.

George has, in his own inimitable style, managed to bring this wonderful shared experience of the unusual and imaginative buildings to the television screen, and does it so well.

It is an absolute pleasure to hang up the old unique property sleuthing galoshes at the end of putting together an edition of the Unique Property Bulletin, and sit down to an episode of George’s Amazing Spaces or the sister programme Restoration Man. It has also been a privilege to assist the researchers at Tiger Aspect with some unique property candidates in the past.

So this week we have a real eye-catcher to propose for our researcher friends at Tiger Aspect Television. Not sure which genre this fabulous piece of unique architectural design of Dupli Casa might fit into – Amazing Spaces or Restoration Man. But wow, one thing is for sure, architect J Mayer has created something truly magnificent with this design.

So this listing is for George Clarke and the Tiger Aspect team. By the way George if you happen to read this and would like a third television programme to add to the first two programmes in your portfolio, we have the proposed television Unique Property Bulletin Bus format road-trip adventure at a reasonably advanced stage. Still to sort out the bus design/rebuild/repaint, but there is a growing list of unique property home owners and builders ready to visit with and talk to. The only hiccup George is you will need your bus driving licence test like the rest of us over here. Please feel free to contact us.


Dupli Casa:-


Dupli Casa Architect:-

J. MAYER H. und Partner, Architekten
Zementhaus Knesebeckstrasse 30
10623 Berlin

T.: +49 (0)30 644 90 77 00
F.: +49 (0)30 644 90 77 11


Try Before You Buy …..

The property included within the try-before-you-buy section of the Unique Property Bulletin – is NOT for sale. Our endeavour is to provide a sample, and actual experience of what it would be like to live in any particular genre of unusual abode. This specific listing is for a short-stay break. Our offering this week is:

Hole Cottage

AAA Hole Cottage

Hole Cottage, Cowden, Kent, TN8 5PD

The surviving cross-wing of a late medieval, timber-framed hall house in a peaceful woodland clearing in the Kent Weald.

Sleeps 2 + 2 = 4 nights from £391.00

Equivalent to £24.44 per person per night


Tel – The Landmark Trust: 01628 825925


Unique Property Bulletin Editorial


This is a fairly simple editorial this week. We are moving along to the acronym: TOTGA: The One That Got Away.


Jumbo Water Tower, Balkerne Gardens, Colchester (c) David Hawgood

The essence about TOTGA is to turn it into TOTDGA. At this point you can be forgiven for thinking we have been going far too left of field and fallen off of the edge. Too many acronyms.

But there is logic in this that is crucially important on two fronts. Firstly we present an example of just one unique property that DIDN’T get away:

 AAA Strathy Point Lighthouse Peter Moore

Strathy Point Lighthouse, Caithness & Sutherland (c) Peter Moore.

Our beloved Strathy Point Lighthouse Compound. It was in 1999 when the lighthouse authority decommissioned it and sold the place to another person. We had even written to the lighthouse authority a year earlier asking to be given notice if and when they were disposing of any former lighthouse property. Unfortunately they missed us off of the list. We only found out about Strathy Point Lighthouse Buildings from a copy of the merchant navy magazine “Seabreezes”. By then it seemed too late.

But a fair wind was with us. It wasn’t too late. The first buyer dropped out and the lighthouse authority subsequently gave us first refusal. But not without a little persistence from our side. That is the whole point of TOTGA – to write, telephone, fax, email and/or visit to see if a TOTGA property can be acquired from the new owner (or if a failed sale, the re-aquired from the old owner second time around).

At the material time after Strathy Lighthouse Compound appeared sold – TOTGAd – a very good friend said to offer a little less because of the hassle. Actually she suggested £20,000 less. At first we didn’t have the brass neck, but the friend persisted. So we tried it. An offer with £20,000 shaved off was actually accepted. Smiles all round.

It worked. So TOTGA turned into TOTDGAthe one that didn’t get away. Into the bargain we saved a large chunk of cash. Though the main object was to secure one of the most beautiful unique properties in the country.

How does this affect you?

Our headline property – The water tower in Colchester called Jumbo. If this is to your taste, we would suggest getting in touch with both the old owner and the new owner.

The former in case the sale falls through and you can be there to catch an amazing unique property.

The latter as it is a fair prospect they may either sell the property on at a modest profit immediately the legal title is transferred, and you win through. Or they may be a developer, and you could get yourself first in line for the fully finished item when the developer is ready to sell.

Any which way you look at this, turning TOTGA into TOTDGA can be a very exciting way to secure your unique property.

By the way, for hints on how to find the owner, it might be and idea to buy one of these ….

 Unique Property Manual RSZ1

Unique Property Manual: Click Here

Also more information on the Jumbo Water Tower at…


Previously on Unique Property Bulletin …

Click Here For The Previous Bulletin

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