Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Watford Borough Council make next move to protect Sun Clock Tower in Ascot Road
Watford Borough Council has moved to protect the Sun Clock Tower after the developer who owns it hinted he may have to abandon its planned redevelopment.
The authority has issued an 'Article 4 Direction' notice on the historic water pump in Ascot Road.
The notice means the owner would not be able to demolish the landmark without getting planning permission from the council first.
The move comes after the clock tower's owner, Stuart Taylor, said he may have to look at other options for the site after losing a court battle with the council.
Watford Borough Council took Mr Taylor to court for trespassing on its land when he began work on plans to renovate the clock tower and turn it into offices earlier this year.
The trespass dispute was over a corner of land on the clock tower plot which is owned by the council.
The council has since said its land, which was part of the original planning permission for the clock tower renovation, is now earmarked for use in building of the new Croxley Rail Link Metropolitan Line station in Ascot Road.
After losing the case Mr Taylor said he needed all the land on the plot for a car park to make his office scheme viable.
Speaking to the Watford Observer last month he said the impasse with the council meant he may have to look at other schemes for the land.
Following the decision to issue the protection notice, a council spokesman said: "The Sun Clock Tower, at Ascot Road, is already a locally listed building and represents an important aspect of Watford’s history.
"The council has had continuous dialogue with the owner regarding the future use of the building and hope to work with him positively in managing any heritage related issues."