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Planning Application News

 


Our planning applications to extend the railway to Blackmoor Gate and Wistlandpound Reservoir are now completed and presented to our two local authorities, Exmoor National Park and North Devon Council

The two NDC applications have now been approved (see below) and we have been advised by ENPA that their decision is expected in 2017


Overall there are seven separate planning applications. These are as follows:

ENPA 62/50/16/001

Reinstatement of the Railway line

NDC 60676

Reinstatement of the Railway line: APPROVED 15 June 2016

The above two applications include clearance of cuttings filled in since the railway closed and replacement and repair of original bridge structures and embankments that have been removed or deteriorated since the railway closed

ENPA 62/50/16/002

New rolling stock shed and sidings

NDC 60675

Change of use and extension of The Old Station House Inn to Blackmoor Station: APPROVED 29 June 2016

ENPA 62/50/16/003

New Railway car park

ENPA 62/50/16/004

Redevelopment and expansion of public car park and amenity area

ENPA 62/50/16/005

Erection of two dwellings (one for Railway purposes and one for local needs affordable housing) at Parracombe Halt

Click on the links above to access each individual application. These external links will open in a new tab or window, depending on the browser you are using.

 


The Planning Application documents are extensive with each of the seven being about 520 pages for the application and technical reports and 860 pages for the Environmental Statement.

To understand the applications the key documents are:

  • The Application (25 pages)
  • The Planning Statement (100 pages)
  • The Environmental Statement – Non-Technical Summary (18 pages)
  • The Tourism Report(20 pages)
  • The Business Plan (20 pages)
  • The Construction Statement (18 pages)

There are also the drawings and pictures which relate to these items.



Here are two photos of the printed editions of the plans that were delivered to the planning authorities. Click on image to enlarge

And here is the invoice! Please note we actually had "20,388" A4 B&W pages printed - not "2038". The person who made out the bill left off the second eight!A4 B&W pages printed - not "2038". The person who made out the bill left off the second eight!


PRESS RELEASE

The steam railway - which currently operates over a mile of track between Woody Bay Station near Lynton and Killington Lane - carried 52,000 passengers last year, beating the previous record.

This much-loved narrow-gauge line across Exmoor was opened in 1898 and closed in 1935 before springing back to life in 2004 and becoming an award-winning national heritage asset for North Devon.

When the service is extended, the railway’s centre of operations will be transferred from Woody Bay to Blackmoor Gate where an engineering centre and locomotive and carriage sheds will be constructed in a shallow valley almost invisible from the road. The Old Station House Inn – the former Blackmoor Station on the old railway – will be redesigned to include the station as well as the existing pub and restaurant business which developed after the railway closed.

There will be parking for 160 cars at Blackmoor Gate with a pedestrian underpass below the road providing access to the station. The existing public toilets at Blackmoor Gate will also be redeveloped with the addition of a visitor information centre.

Nearer the northern end of the extension Parracombe Bank will be reconstructed with a culvert larger than a double-decker bus to carry the River Heddon through the embankment. That will ensure the bank cannot be severed again as it was at the time of the Lynmouth Flood in 1952, with tragic consequences.

Parracombe Halt will be reinstated and the building erected on the site in 1988 will be replaced by two houses, one of them for local affordable needs.

With the approval of all the planning applications, the extension of the line will provide a major boost to the tourist industry of North Devon. It will directly support 24 full-time jobs and many more in the wider service sector locally. Apprentices will also be trained in the engineering centre.centre.

Once this stage of the restoration of the legendary Lynton & Barnstaple Railway is complete the line will be rebuilt on to Lynton and back to Barnstaple, linking once again the two towns by the historic railway that many people think should never have been closed. In the meantime a shuttle bus service will be operated from Woody Bay to Lynton. Visitors will then be able to park their cars at Blackmoor Gate on the edge of Exmoor National Park and ride through the national park itself without disturbing the very beauty and tranquillity they have come to enjoy.

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