Full steam ahead for train museum
By Danielle NuttallRAILWAY enthusiasts were celebrating last night after a council backed its plan for expansion.The Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum in Wetheringsett, near Stowmarket, submitted a planning application to increase the number of days its steam engines could run along restored track from eight to 20.
By Danielle Nuttall
RAILWAY enthusiasts were celebrating last night after a council backed its plan for expansion.
The Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum in Wetheringsett, near Stowmarket, submitted a planning application to increase the number of days its steam engines could run along restored track from eight to 20.
It also wanted to open throughout the year, removing the current restriction that limits the museum to opening between Good Friday and September 30.
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Museum supporters said an increase in activities on the site would be of great benefit to the district, bringing in more tourism and helping the economy.
But opponents said it would increase traffic and feared the train noise would interrupt their peace and quiet, leading Mid Suffolk District Council officers to recommend that the application was refused.
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However, members of the council's planning committee north unanimously voted yesterday to back the proposal.
Keith Froom, vice-chairman of the Mid Suffolk Light Railway, said last night: “Obviously we are very pleased indeed.
“We have received requests from Wetheringsett village to run our train on days to suit them and we hope the permission will come through in time to enable us to assist them.
“We were hopeful our application would succeed because the evidence was clearly in our favour.
“We hope that by being able to run our steam engine on more days we will be able to increase visitor numbers. If we have more days open they will be spread out more so numbers on each day will not lead to overcrowding.”
The parish council had backed the proposal, subject to a number of conditions, including better access to the site.