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Fire-hit rail station rebuild could be complete by Easter

PUBLISHED: 07:30 20 October 2020

Work has yet to be completed at Saxmundham railway station Picture: ARCHANT

Work has yet to be completed at Saxmundham railway station Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Works to rebuild Saxmundham’s fire-hit railway station could be complete by next Easter, say rail operators.

Saxmundham railway station as it currently looks Picture: ARCHANTSaxmundham railway station as it currently looks Picture: ARCHANT

The Suffolk station was hit by a devastating fire in February 2018.

The fire destroyed much of the second floor of the building, leading to its removal.

Since then, Greater Anglia has been looking to repair the building itself and the area around it.

Plans were given the go-ahead by East Suffolk Council’s planning committee in October last year for the station to be restored as a single story building, despite calls for a more comprehensive redevelopment from some in the town.

Firefighters tackling the blaze at Saxmundham railway station in February 2018 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFirefighters tackling the blaze at Saxmundham railway station in February 2018 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The new building is set to include a waiting room for passengers and a new area for self-serve ticket vending machines.

The station’s car park was also due to be expanded.

Since then, work on the car park has been carried out, having started before the pandemic began.

However, the station building itself remains incomplete.

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It had been hoped that work would begin on the station building in the summer but work has been pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, with changes made to the original planning application.

Greater Anglia recently got approval to move the proposed entrance back to the station’s original door and hopes to be able to start work rebuilding the station soon.

The next step for the project will be for the building work to go out to tender, so a contractor can be found to begin carrying out the work.

Greater Anglia now hopes the work will be complete by Easter of 2021.

A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: “We have continued to make progress on the redevelopment of Saxmundham station, with the brand new car park now complete.

“Due to having to resubmit a planning application for some internal changes to the new waiting room, which was then delayed to the Covid outbreak, we were unable to start work on the building as planned - so that part of the project has unfortunately fallen a bit behind schedule.

“However, we have now received planning permission and are about to commence a tender process to get this work underway, with the hope of completing the project around Easter time next year.”

MORE: Car park expansion heralds start of work to rebuild Saxmundham Railway Station




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