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‘A very sad day’: campaigners’ ‘disappointment’ as historic railway station set for demolition

PUBLISHED: 14:17 21 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:21 21 May 2020

Brandon Town Councillor, Gary Brocklehurst, says he is dissapointed about the decision to knock down the town's historic railway station building. Photo: Sonya Duncan

Brandon Town Councillor, Gary Brocklehurst, says he is dissapointed about the decision to knock down the town's historic railway station building. Photo: Sonya Duncan

Sonya Duncan

A community have told of their sadness and disappointment after a decision was reached to knock down a historic railway station, but say they will continue to fight.

MPs and Friends of Brandon Station, local cllrs and business leaders gather at Brandon Station to discuss it's future redevelopment.MPs and Friends of Brandon Station, local cllrs and business leaders gather at Brandon Station to discuss it's future redevelopment.

A decision on the future of Brandon railway station was reached after Breckland Council gave the green light for Greater Anglia to make a £1m renovation to the site, which include knocking down the station’s buildings to make room for an extended car park.

But despite the decision to go ahead with the plans, many people from within the community have said they will continue to fight to save what they see as an important piece of their town’s heritage.

James Parry is a trustee for the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust, who says it’s “a sad day for Brandon”.

Mr Parry said: “It will be a very sad day for Brandon which is famous for being at the centre of the flint industry and our view is that the station is a fantastic symbol of that heritage.

James Parry is a trustee of Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust. Photo: Ali KhadraJames Parry is a trustee of Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust. Photo: Ali Khadra

“The building is getting on for 200 years old and is the best example of flint work anywhere.

“It is a tragedy that those responsible hadn’t maintained it properly which has brought us to where we are now.

“I think future generations will be shocked and horrified that this was allowed to happen.

“Now it’s imperative that the building is comprehensively recorded and documented before any demolition is allowed to happen.”

Brandon Town Councillor Gary Brocklehurst. Photo: Emily ThomsonBrandon Town Councillor Gary Brocklehurst. Photo: Emily Thomson

MORE: £1m overhaul of town’s railway station is agreed

Brandon Town Councillor, Gary Brocklehurst, said not enough was done to save the building before it reached this point.

Although the demolition is likely to go ahead, Mr Brocklehurst said he will carry on fighting.

Brandon is the heart of the flintknappers, and we need to save our town’s heritage,” he said.

Andy Erlam has been an avid protestor against plans to demolish Brandon railway station's buildings. Picture: Andy ErlamAndy Erlam has been an avid protestor against plans to demolish Brandon railway station's buildings. Picture: Andy Erlam

“It’s disgraceful and an act of destruction by a major company, but there is only so much you can do.

“Several groups and individuals have tried but there hasn’t been anything big enough to stop it, and now the buildings demolition is inevitable.

“It’s a massive loss for Brandon.”

MORE: Heritage group joins battle to save 175-year-old train station

Brandon Station
Photo:Sonya Duncan
Copy:
For: EDP
EDP pics © 2010
(01603) 772434Brandon Station Photo:Sonya Duncan Copy: For: EDP EDP pics © 2010 (01603) 772434

Andy Erlam, 68, a freelance writer from Brandon, is another who has fought the plans.

He said: “The decision by Breckland Council is not surprising but totally irresponsible.

“There is very strong public support for preservation.

“Brandon has few buildings of historical value, so why do they want to destroy it? The fight goes on.”

View of the Brandon station building with its canopy in 1958. Picture: BrandonSuffolk.comView of the Brandon station building with its canopy in 1958. Picture: BrandonSuffolk.com

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