A quirky historic building in a Herefordshire village can be turned into a home after all.

Dr Christopher Allen applied in June 2021 to convert the grade II listed Tank House, off the B4218 Walwyn Road, Colwall Stone, a remnant of the village’s mineral water bottling plant, into a two-bedroom home by introducing a new first floor.

Herefordshire Council refused permission in early 2022, saying Dr Allen “has failed to demonstrate that the harm caused to the heritage asset is outweighed by any public benefit”.


He appealed, and now Government-appointed planning inspector Paul Griffiths has overturned the council’s refusal and approved the original proposal and listed building consent.

“The harm to the significance of the building that would be caused by the new first floor structure would be very limited indeed,” he concluded.

Mr Griffiths felt the council’s heritage concerns “are a predictable consequence of a residential conversion”, and “would be easily outweighed by the benefit of bringing the otherwise redundant building back into a viable use”.


Approval is on condition that new windows, louvres and other external joinery must first be individually approved by the council, along with a cycle parking plan and bat survey.

Schweppes opened what is claimed to be the world’s oldest bottling plant at nearby Holy Well, Malvern Wells in 1850, before moving the plant to Colwall in 1892.

The Tank House, described by Mr Griffiths as “an accomplished imitation of the Holy Well”, was added in 1900.

Historic England, which oversees listed buildings, says its “elaborate external treatment is largely complete”, though its internal tanks and pipework have been removed.

The site later passed to the Coca-Cola company before being closed finally in 2010. Much of the land has since been developed for housing.