Northampton National Lift Tower could become abseiling centre

National Lift Tower viewed from Grand Union Canal The National Lift Tower, originally known as the Express Lift Tower, was designed by Maurice Walton

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A Grade II listed former lift tower could become a permanent centre for charity abseils if plans are approved.

The tower, once lampooned by broadcaster Terry Wogan as the "Northampton lighthouse", was built for Express Lifts in the early 1980s and used for research purposes until 2008.

Nearly 500 people have descended the 418ft (127m) landmark under a temporary licence in the past 12 months.

Northampton Borough Council will make a decision on the plan on Tuesday.

The officer's report says the "permanent additional use for abseiling is acceptable" as the proposal provides "some benefits to the wider community" and is not "considered to have undue detrimental impact on highway safety, parking, amenity of neighbours and the listed building."

The plan is likely to be granted on the condition abseils are limited to 24 per calendar year.

The National Lift Tower, now owned by businessman Peter Sullivan, began holding abseiling events in May 2011.

National Lift Tower The National Lift Tower now sits in a residential area built on the former Express Lifts factory site

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