Plans to revamp fire-hit rail station revealed

Firefighters tackle a blaze at Saxmundham railway station Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Firefighters tackle a blaze at Saxmundham railway station Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

New plans have been unveiled to restore a historic Suffolk railway station which was devastated by fire.

Rail operator Greater Anglia has applied to East Suffolk Council to restore the station after a fire broke out in February last year.

Firefighters spent more than two hours tackling the large blaze, which caused so much damage the top floor of the building had to be removed.

Work on the station's restoration had been expected to start in March. However, four months later nothing had been started.

Earlier this month, Saxmundham Town Council chairman Jeremy Smith described the lack of action at the station as "damaging to the image and character" of the town.

Now, however, Greater Anglia has finally revealed plans for the station's future.

The biggest change will be that station will remain a one-storey building with a new flat roof which will replace the building's former first floor.

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Greater Anglia were forced to remove much of the upper floor due to safety concerns following the fire and have decided against reinstating it.

Inside the building, the rail operator is proposing to remodel the internal space while maintaining its character.

"The ground floor will be re-modelled to provide an area for railway operational use, ticket station, waiting room for passengers, and outdoor storage," read the submitted plans.

A new canopy will also be added to the outside of the building to match the existing material.

Elsewhere, much of the work will be to refurbish the station's previous assets including the station's doorways, windows and brick clad facade.

Saxmundham Town Council is inviting the public to come along to a public meeting on Monday to discuss the plans at the Market Hall from 6.30pm onwards.

This will be followed by an extraordinary meeting of the town council itself.

A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: "We are working to improve Saxmundham railway station after it was badly damage following a fire last year.

"We hope to carry out improvements including a new waiting room, repair works to both platforms and resurfacing the car park.

"We have recently submitted plans to East Suffolk Council to install a new roof, windows and doors at Saxmundham station, to make the building weather proof."

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