CONTROVERSIAL plans to convert a Grade II-listed water tower into a modern apartment complex will go before the council next week.

The scheme submitted by Nest Homes would see Parkstone Water Tower in Mansfield Road developed into three two-bed flats, with a four-storey block of 14 flats attached via a glazed link.

There would be a communal open space to the south west of the site and unallocated parking for 19 cars, as well as bicycle storage.

However, the plans have attracted a variety of complaints from nearby residents concerned about loss of light and privacy to their properties.

Some also worry about increased traffic in the area, which they say is already congested, with access to Mansfield Road “severely limited” due to the width of the road and residents’ parking.

But the main concerns over the proposal regard the loss of the 52-space Mansfield Road car park, which is used by patients of Parkstone Tower Practice.

The water tower sits in the middle of the car park, which is operated by the Borough of Poole, which leases the land from Wessex Water.

But business manager of the GP surgery, Sue Wilkins, told the Daily Echo earlier this year that the loss of the car park would have “devastating effects” on the surgery and its 18,500 patients.

In October 2013, when Wessex Water wanted to convert the tower into flats, a petition signed by 1,136 people opposing the move was handed in to the Borough of Poole. Back then Ashley Road traders argued the car park was essential for local businesses.

The proposed development would provide only onsite parking for residents and visitors.

Despite the objections to the scheme, planning officer Clare Spiller has recommended it be approved when it is considered by the planning committee on Thursday.

She described the water tower as an “attractive” and “prominent local landmark”, but one that is in a “poor state of repair” and “no longer required for that purpose”.

The tower was decommissioned in 2010.

Architects say the external appearance of the tower, which dates back to the late 19th century, would be preserved alongside the water tank as a key feature of the scheme.

Part of the proposed scheme includes repairing the external brickwork and corbelling of the tower. The majority of the cast iron tank panels would also be replaced.

Ms Spiller said the public benefit of retaining and re-using an “unusual” Grade II-listed, industrial structure was “sufficient justification” for the proposed alterations to it.

“The materials to be used would reflect the cues of the historic building and the introduction of soft landscaping will improve the setting of the water tower.

“The proposed conversion is sympathetic to the fabric of the water tower and the proposed development will preserve the setting of the listed building.”

She added: “The public benefit will be the reuse of an existing, redundant Grade II-listed building which due to its function has limited alternative uses.”