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The Story So Far...
In December 2012 Suffolk Coastal District Council rejected the application by the Southwold Railway Trust to build a replica station and visitor centre on a site in the Suffolk village of Wenhaston, and to reopen a half-mile working railway including 22 chains of the original Southwold Railway trackbed.
Following consultation with the planning authorities, local residents and its own members, the Board members have decided not to appeal against this planning refusal unless our new, revised application is also refused. Instead a revised, scaled-down new proposal was submitted at the end of April 2013.
The Revised Wenhaston Station Proposal
The issues that caused the last application to be rejected included the size of the proposed visitor centre, the number of operating days and the size of the proposed car park. In order to address these points the new planning application includes:
The railway will still operate over 22 chains of the original Southwold Railway track bed, will be built to 3ft gauge, and trains will ultimately be hauled by a replica Sharp Stewart 2-4-0 Steam locomotive "Blyth"
Thanks to very generous members and supporters, the Southwold Railway Trust raised sufficient finance and loans to be in a position to purchase the 31-acre Wenhaston site, which includes more than 22 chains of practically-untouched trackbed. It was therefore decided to proceed with the purchase, regardless of the outcome of the planning application, because this was a unique opportunity to ensure the preservation of a length of trackbed under the ownership of the Trust.
This was a "now or never" decision, and even if no railway is built at this time, the route can still be preserved until such time as the Trust succeeds with any future planning applications: Trust ownership will also ensure that 29 of the 31 acres will remain in agricultural use, with its delicate ecology protected. The Trust purchased the land on May 1st, 2013. The Trust has declared its intention to acquire any other sections of the original Southwold Railway trackbed which might become available, and affordable.
In order to secure this essential section of land, loans as well as sponsorship were received. Therefore, the Trust is continuing the Club 22 fund, in order to allow the timely paying off of these loans, thus removing a financial burden on the organisation. Therefore, further donations will still be much appreciated. Click here to find out more about the Club 22, where you can help us by sponsoring any length of track from one inch to one or more chains!
To read more about this project download the Design and Access Statement (PDF 6mb)
|The Southwold Railway Trust
27 High Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6AD.
Telephone: 01502 725422 ~ email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Southwold Railway Trust is a Registered Charity (No. 1117041) and a Company registered in England No. 05894122
VAT: GB 977 0266 90