£1m overhaul of town’s railway station is agreed
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2010
A town’s railway station is set for a £1m boost to car parking and customer facilities after plans were given the go-ahead.
Greater Anglia has been granted permission to carry out improvements at Brandon station.
The planning application to increase car parking capacity by demolishing the “dilapidated” station buildings were lodged with Breckland Council, which has confirmed that Greater Anglia’s plans are “lawful” under permitted planning regulations.
The company plans to invest £1m to improve customer facilities, including the installation of new anti-vandal waiting shelters, additional lighting and CCTV.
It will also improve drainage and increase car parking from six to 100 spaces, including five accessible bays.
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Greater Anglia’s director for asset management Simone Bailey said: “We are pleased to now have the support of the council and the Railway Heritage Trust so that we can get on with making Brandon rail station fit for purpose in the 21st century and improve its facilities for our passengers.
“While we are sympathetic to the views of some who would like to see the old station buildings retained, no-one has ever come forward with a credible business plan that demonstrates that they either have the investment required or an ongoing sustainable use for the buildings.
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“As a result, they are falling further and further into disrepair and becoming unsafe.
“Therefore, we have concluded that the best course of action is to demolish the buildings as this will provide more space, enabling us to improve the station in other important ways – ie making sure there are enough car parking spaces and accessible parking spaces available, as this will enable everyone to access the station and rail travel more easily.”
“In turn, a shift locally from car to train benefits everyone through reductions in road traffic congestion and pollution as it is a much more environmentally friendly way to travel.”
Greater Anglia will also install a bat roost to provide alternative accommodation for bats once the old buildings have been demolished.
Work to Brandon railway station is predicted to start at the end of this year.
Greater Anglia said it expected demand to rise after the introduction of its new bi-mode trains on the Norwich to Cambridge line.