In April 2015, Suffolk Coastal District Council turned down our modified planning application for the Wenhaston Station Project, which we see as only the start of the restoration of the entire railway. The Trust is Appealing against that decision, which we believe to be flawed – principally because the Planning Officer recommended approval, only for the Councillors to ignore that professional advice, which was that all objections had been fully satisfied. This unique project is of national importance. Tourism is an essential part of Suffolk’s economy (at least one in eight people in the district work in tourism) – and the tourist authorities wish to promote the Blyth Valley as a tourist “destination”. To make this work, a heritage railway, providing a much-needed all-weather family-friendly tourist attraction, and later building into an environmentally-friendly means of transport and a Park-and-Ride, is an ideal scenario. The usual reaction of most visitors and residents to the fact of the NIMBY opposition is incredulous laughter. You can submit your representations in two ways. For those of you who have access to the internet and want to use it for this purpose you can make your submission through the Government’s Planning Portal. This is the address to use: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/appeals/online/comment All you have to do is read the page, click on ‘Appeal Search’ and then, when the page appears, enter only the numbers 3134437 in the ‘Case Reference’ box. That will take you to the correct page where you will be able to make your representations as an Interested Party/Person. On that page click on the tab ‘Make representation’. Alternatively you can send an email direct to firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting Reference APP/J3530/W/15/3134437 but please also remember to quote your full name and address. If you wish to submit your support in writing then this can be done by writing a letter and including and referring to any documents you may consider relevant, remembering to include the full planning reference mentioned immediately above, your name and address and the capacity in which you are submitting representations, which is as an Interested Party/Person. Please remember to include 3 copies of your letter (and documents – if there are any). Your letter should be addressed to Mrs Terry Scott, The Planning Inspectorate, 3/10 Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN. All letters and e-mails of support MUST be with the Inspector by December 3rd, 2015. Please support us – make it happen! In the course of this Appeal, Wenhaston Parish Councillors (our Chairman is a Parish Councillor, although he was not allowed to vote in this matter) declared, in public, on Wednesday November 18th, that although they are not willing to change their minds about continuing to oppose the 2013 application, they would support the Trust if it were to apply for permission to rebuild a substantial part of the railway. As this is, anyway, the published, legal, and binding Charitable Aim of the Trust (you can read it on the Charity Commission website), then SRT will happily count on their complete and welcome support in future applications.
The Trust needs YOUR help: meanwhile, Wenhaston Parish Councillors finally declare themselves in favour of restoring the railway!