Railway plan suffers new snub

A GROUP of train enthusiasts have been dealt another blow after parish councillors recommended their plans to build a rail line in north Suffolk for refusal last night.

A GROUP of train enthusiasts have been dealt another blow after parish councillors recommended their plans to build a rail line in north Suffolk for refusal last night.

Reydon became the latest parish council to voice its opinion that plans to build a narrow gauge railway between Southwold and Henham should hit the buffers.

Councillors opposed the plans put forward by the Southwold Railway Trust to Waveney District Council to replicate the original Southwold railway which ran between the town and Halesworth from 1879 to 1929.

Earlier this week the Suffolk Preservation Society joined the growing army of opponents to the scheme and last week Wangford with Henham Parish Council recommended the plans be refused.


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Wangford and Henham Parish Council's decision to recommend refusal angered railway trust members as they were due to give a presentation at a public meeting in Wangford last night. As a result of the decision, the members abstained from the meeting.

John Bennett, trust member, said: “There was little point in David Negus and me attending the meeting to present the case for the railway because their decision was prejudicial and runs counter to the spirit of democracy.”

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The planning application is for the first phase of the project, which would see a park and ride facility at Henham Park beside the A12 and the track running under the trunk road and through the outskirts of Wangford and Reydon before terminating at Southwold Station at Easton Bavents.

Last week, more than 300 people attended a public meeting held by Reydon Parish Council to discuss the plans.

Reydon resident Charlotte Du Cann has also organised a Save Our Lanes campaign in her belief that the “natural harmony" of the area would be shattered if the project goes ahead.

Trust members, however, have maintained that the project is an environmentally friendly scheme and said it has been misrepresented.

Mr Bennett said: “Scaremongering is employed to nurture dissent and there has been some intimidation of landowners and supporters but none of that should obscure the fact that there is a great deal of support for the project.”

The plans for the railway have captured the imagination of people from all over the county and country and have been backed by supporters from as far as Worcester.

They have also been backed by Henham estate manager Hektor Rous but are being opposed by Southwold Town Council.

kate.scotter@eadt.co.uk

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