Planning Inspectorate Approves Camera Obscura Plans

Buzza Tower

The Planning inspectorate has approved controversial plans to turn the unused Buzza Tower into a camera obscura.

The appeal has found in favour of applicant Andrew Combes. He’ll now be able to add the equipment, which will project a 360-degree image of what is seen from the roof to the inside the tower.

Neighbours complained that their privacy would be affected, so the applicant agreed to add batons to block part of the view around their homes.

Chris Jones, who owns one of those properties, says he is considering putting his home on the market. He blames the Council for its handling of the application and feels the approval granted by the planning inspector was undemocratic.

It was taken out of the Council’s hands with an appeal after they failed to make a decision on the plans within the statutory eight weeks.

Chris says he wouldn’t have minded if the Council had rejected it and it had been passed on appeal. He feels the authority has made, “a pigs ear” of it.

Andrew Combes will now begin work to replace the failed floor, roof and stairs and install the retractable and demountable camera mechanism.

He’ll be doing much of the work himself and says he’s grateful to James Fletcher, who is experienced in historic building restoration, for offering advice in pointing historic stonework.

Andrew says he hopes to open the tower in time for the new tourism season.


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