A listed former pump house in Cambusbarron could have a new future as a home and craft and farming hub.
Michael Carvell has submitted an application to Stirling Council planners to convert the water treatment plant at the former North Third Water Pump House in Polmaise Road.
He hopes to create a home plus use the ground and first floor for food growing, storage and packaging, plus alter the internal site access and parking.
In documents submitted with the application, agents for the applicant said non-residential spaces in the waterworks would be used for agricultural and craft production by the owners and future community partners.
They added: “The uses proposed do not require intervention to the fabric of the building beyond the proposed plans, and are intended to be flexible and adaptable to changing activities.”
Uses for some of the spaces including bottling and packing of local farm products including mushrooms, honey and eggs, a room to house two self-contained sealed units for inoculation and cultivation of edible mushrooms, and a room primarily for storage of tools and equipment, with the potential to adapt to future needs in the business.
Also, on the first floor, there would be an open space for display of heritage equipment with appropriate interpretation boards and images, and vertical farming modules for hydroponic cultivation of strawberries, lettuces, chillies and other organic produce. The modules can be moved or dismantled for other uses of the space, such as for artistic practice and educational visits.
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The B-listed water treatment works, built by Grangemouth Water Council in 1931 and subsequently taken over by Scottish Water, used a sand filtration method to filter water from North Third reservoir for the Grangemouth aqueduct. A Statement of Special Interest highlights its historical role as “possibly one of the first rapid gravity filters used in Scotland” and a remarkably complete surviving example of this important technology.
In the 1980s, the building underwent alterations to accommodate new automated equipment. New partition walls were erected and cable conduits extended across the building, causing some damage to walls and floors.
However, the developer says the current proposal would seek to reverse most of these conversions to reinstate the original plan of the main spaces.
The agents said: “After Scottish Water ceased the use of the building in 2000, the building has been empty.
“Being in a rural location, it has been a target for vandalism, resulting in extensive damage to the windows and skylights, cable stripping, and removal of other metal pieces. This has resulted in increased weather damage, although the building is structurally sound and most damage can be restored.
“The proposal is to secure a rural industrial B-listed building, restore its key heritage features, and convert it to serve a dual residential and working purpose.”
Council planners are expected to make a recommendation on the application in due course.