Fatal blow to railway station hopes

HOPES of saving a village railway station from the bulldozers have been dealt a fatal blow – with English Heritage putting the last nail in the coffin.

HOPES of saving a village railway station from the bulldozers have been dealt a fatal blow – with English Heritage putting the last nail in the coffin.

Campaigners had been hoping the Trimley station building could be listed because of its architecture and historical importance.

But English Heritage has turned down an application for listing and now there seems little chance of it being kept, unless Network Rail has a change of heart.

Trimley St Mary parish councillor Bryan Frost said the listing bid had been rejected because the building had been altered too much from the original, with its chimney stacks and canopy removed.


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"It looks as if we have reached the end of the road, though I would still like a site meeting with Network Rail to plan the way forward," he said.

The final throw of the dice would be to check if the company had carried out the "minor closure procedure" in the Transport Act, which would mean the regional passenger committee would need to assess passengers' needs.

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Mr Frost said the station building provided passengers with shelter from the winter wind and also featured three lights, which were crucial to night-time safety, and these would need replacing before demolition took place.

"The procedure is an extremely grey area but I think we should go through it and see what happens," he added.

Network Rail – which took ownership of the station from Railtrack – says the station will be demolished before the end of March. A 4ft 6in wooden picket fence will be placed across the gap. Train services will not be affected.

It says the property is just too dangerous to leave standing.

Years of neglect, attacks by vandals and a deterioration in its structure mean the building is too expensive to maintain, would need £100,000 spent to restore it, and is "unsafe and has become a hazard".

Several campaigns to market the property have failed to find an alternative use. Demolition would allow extra car parking for customers and remove an eyesore.

The station, which was constructed in 1891, did once have planning permission for a restaurant and wine bar, but the scheme never got off the ground.

n Is the station building worth saving? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK: www.networkrail.com

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