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Could demolition of train station building be stopped by resident's plans?

PUBLISHED: 16:27 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:27 18 November 2019

Andy Erlam has submitted a plan to Greater Anglia. Picture: Andy Erlam/Archant

Andy Erlam has submitted a plan to Greater Anglia. Picture: Andy Erlam/Archant

Archant

A station master's house which is on the verge of being demolish has been given a potential lifeline after a resident submitted a business plan to save it.

Brandon Station could have improved facilities if Greater Anglia goes ahead with its plans to demolish the Master's House. 
Photo:Sonya DuncanBrandon Station could have improved facilities if Greater Anglia goes ahead with its plans to demolish the Master's House. Photo:Sonya Duncan

Greater Anglia announced plans to demolish the Brandon station block earlier this year with the work expected to have started in the Autumn.

The demolition would be part of an expansion plan for the station, which would see the car park increase to 95 spaces, with ticket machines and five disabled bays.

Andy Erlam has been challenging the rail firm to stop the demolition due to the heritage of the site with it sitting in the town centre for more than 100 years, appearing in the 1960's comedy Dad's Army, and being made out of flint stones which were mined in Brandon since the Medieval period.

Greater Anglia said in September that it would consider a business proposal backed by £1m in funding, but Mr Erlam, 67, refutes this amount.

Brandon Station could have improved facilities if Greater Anglia goes ahead with its plans to demolish the Master's House. 
Photo:Sonya DuncanBrandon Station could have improved facilities if Greater Anglia goes ahead with its plans to demolish the Master's House. Photo:Sonya Duncan

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The writer wants to turn the 1830s building into offices. He said: "It will cost £300,000 to demolish a sound building of historical importance and of local interest.

"It would be an act of corporate vandalism to demolish it, let's engage the community for a good outcome."

Greater Anglia submitted plans to redevelop the site with the increased car park, improved facilities and introduce a parking charge. It said this is an investment of £1m and it "owes its rail travellers improved facilities".

A Greater Anglia spokesperson said: "We are continuing discussions with Mr Erlan about the future of the station master's house at Brandon and we would be interested to hear further from him about local employers and authorities interested in using the building.

"Our estimate of the costs is based on using a contractor who is part of the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme. So far, Mr Erlan has not provided us with evidence that his proposed contractor is part of this scheme.

"We will continue to look at alternative options going forward, but unless a credible, fully costed scheme emerges soon, we will need to proceed with our initial plans."

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