Historic railway platform building could be demolished in station revamp

Salhouse, the nearest station to Rackheath, possible site of an eco-townPhoto: Bill SmithCopy: E

Salhouse station pictured back in 2008 - Credit: Bill Smith/Archant Library

Plans to renovate a railway station on the edge of Norwich have been met with criticism due to the potential demolition of a historic building. 

Greater Anglia has lodged proposals for Salhouse Railway Station which would see the loss of the railway platform building. 

The construction of passenger waiting shelters to be installed on both station platforms also forms part of the railway company's plans which have been submitted to Broadland District Council. 

An artist impression of what the waiting shelters could look like at Salhouse 

An artist impression of what the waiting shelters could look like at Salhouse - Credit: Greater Anglia

Residents and the parish council have objected to the plans due to the loss of the original building from the Bittern Line. 

The Salhouse Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan identifies the historic building as needing protection with special features including the ponds and the old waiting room. 

Broadland councillor Fran Whymark, who represents Salhouse, said: "The proposal is not really thinking about local people. It is clear in the neighbourhood plan that this means a lot to the local community. It's a heritage building.

"Obviously it has not been maintained over the years which is why they are looking to knock it down but I totally support the parish council in objecting to this." 

Salhouse Railway Station pictured back in 1923.

Salhouse Railway Station pictured back in 1923. - Credit: Archant Library

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But fellow Salhouse Broadland councillor Martin Murrell said he was "on the fence" over the proposals as the historic building had become neglected in recent years.

Mr Murrell said: "It's nice to keep historic buildings but if they are not utilised they are not fit for purpose.

"New shelters can encourage people to use the railway and the new Rackheath development over the next 15 to 20 years will hopefully bolster the railway."

A covering letter submitted to Broadland Council by Greater Anglia states the station land falls within the company's leasehold boundary when considering demolition. 

Stuart Freer, relationship manager for Greater Anglia, said: "It is our view that this same principle would apply to a demolition scheme at Salhouse station insofar that the demolition of the present building, enabling the construction of a modern waiting facility enables passengers to wait for trains in a comfortable environment and continue their journey by rail." 

The station, which is unstaffed, first came to the village in 1874.

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