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Letter arrived after demolition

PUBLISHED: 06:00 18 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:47 02 March 2010

ARRIVING back at their offices after the Easter holiday, councillors in Felixstowe were bemused to find a letter informing them one of the town's most historic buildings was to be demolished – two days after it had already happened.

ARRIVING back at their offices after the Easter holiday, councillors in Felixstowe were bemused to find a letter informing them one of the town's most historic buildings was to be demolished - two days after it had already happened.

Bulldozers arrived at the Victorian Beach Station early on Easter Sunday morning and within an hour it had been totally destroyed.

Now town councillor Mike Nimney is furious the people of the town did not get a chance to have their say.

He said: "At a meeting with the Strategic Rail Authority we were told the town would be informed before any demolition work began.

"A few people had letters shoved through the door on the Saturday evening but, the fact the town council did not get their letter until Tuesday, shows that the town was not properly informed.

"I think it's a disgrace.

Town council clerk Susan Robinson confirmed the council did not receive the letter until Tuesday 13.

She said: "Obviously it could have come sometime over the weekend but there would have been no post on Friday or Monday.

"I suppose it could have come on Saturday but you would've thought they might have put it in the post earlier."

The letter was dated April 8 so the earliest it could have been posted was Thursday - meaning it would not have arrived until Saturday, when there was nobody in the office.

A spokesman for the SRA said: "We fully notified Suffolk Coastal District Council of our intention to demolish this structure and fully complied with all statutory requirements.

"Due to the closeness of the structure to a busy freight line, the work had to be carried out at one of the few times when the line was closed.

"The work was timed in this way to avoid disruption to freight operations."

Mr Ninnmey and a group of other concerned residents plan to use the demolition of the Beach Station to highlight what they believe is a "desperate need" for sustainable transport in the area.

They hope to organise an exhibition looking at alternative means of transport in the town.

Mr Ninnmey said: "Obviously the outcome of the campaign was not as anybody predicted or wished but if we can get people to understand the desperate need for sustainable transport in Felixstowe then at least something good has come out of it."

A TOUCHING display of the strength of the town's feeling at the loss of the beach station is today visible on the fence surrounding the demolition site.

A single floral wreath hanging on the wire provides a stark contrast to the mounds of rubble, which are now all that is left of the Victorian station.

Pensioner Michael Tull, of Coronation Drive, is the man responsible for the wreath.

He said: "I feel it was a totally unnecessary destruction of something that was part of the history of Felixstowe.

"I know it probably seems a bit mad to have put it up, and it will probably get pulled off before too long, but I just wanted to get my point across.

Mr Tull, 65, has lived in Felixstowe since 1946 and remembers using the station as a child.

"I don't see what the hurry was to pull it down. They could have delayed it - the machines are still there now so they obviously weren't tied up.

"I would've thought there would be someone on the SRA who would have some sympathy for historic railway buildings.

"If they want to encourage people in to Felixstowe we need to keep our historic buildings for people to see, not create lots of empty spaces."

NWhat do you think of the demolition of Beach Station? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk


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