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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Old Kent Biker, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    I think you'll find that the EA website's FAQs are pretty much out of date. I think there were posts on the Yahoo group recently that showed a figure of 25% is much nearer the mark.
     
  2. Small Prairie

    Small Prairie New Member

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    Ah, i can only go by the EA website as i dont use yahoo, but i stand correctted
     
  3. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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    The current total is 4.78 miles just a tad short of the 25%, but I understand there will be some more good news if it all goes to plan.
     
  4. Widge

    Widge New Member

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    Despite containing a lot of official-sounding waffle, the report from Mrs Grob's consultants is actually pretty careless. One of their principal objections is that Parracombe Halt was only a water stop and was never open to passengers.
    This is plainly incorrect and if they visited the site they'd have seen that the passenger waiting shelter is still there!
    I'd also put little faith in a consultancy which tries to sound authoritative but can't even spell bridle (bridal) path correctly.
     
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  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I had to laugh when I read the travel report that went with the planning application for the Frome Steiner Free Schools first premises.

    Children (primary school age) would go by train to Dilton Marsh then make their way (How? Elven Chariot?) to the initial premises in Corsley..........
     
  6. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    :Caffeinefix:
    Quite.

    Take the opening sentence of even the part I quoted...

    'It is not understood what safety standards the embankment wil adhere to.'

    Might it be a good idea to check / quote the relevant legislation (no clues to the numpties on a public forum, please) before pontificating?

    Can I say that my offer of voluntary legal assistance made here was responded to at a very senior level within the L&B within a couple of days of it being made, and I look forward to assisting with their inevitable triumphal returns to both terminii (and to living long enough to see that:))

    Kind regards

    Robin White
     
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  7. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Could we have a link to this rather marvellous report please?
     
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  8. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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  9. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    It's a good read / laugh!

    I'm working Swanage box in a bit, so someone more connected than me will have to dig it out. Use the planning links given in the chain above and it's under cover of a letter from solicitors 'Foot Anstey' in the 'neighbours comments' section. You need to find the right one as they have written several times on behalf of their clients.:rolleyes:

    Robin
     
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  10. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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  11. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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  12. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    As we are of the same age it seems, might I suggest the 'Live Until the L&B is fully reopened' diet & exercise regime?

    Are there any fitness & Diet experts who can advise?
     
  13. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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  14. Charobin

    Charobin New Member

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    Over forty years ago Messrs Rampton & Bowman identified that Parracombe would be the most difficult section of the L&B to reinstate when they looked at starting from Blackmoor Gate. It has only become more difficult since then.

    The Grob Report does have flaws and was perhaps written under the principle of ‘throw enough mud at a wall and some of it will stick’. However discussion of it here has focused on some of the obvious flaws (and pedantry) whilst ignoring where it may well hit home. There are numerous points raised both in ‘The Grob Report’ and by other objectors that may give difficulty to the L&B:
    • Large amount of additional construction traffic through Parracombe to reinstate the railway and Parracombe bank – quoted at nearly 7000 HGV trips.
    • Significant development of Parracombe Halt from what was originally there
    • Employment figures are exaggerated
    • Economic benefit and passenger numbers are exaggerated (with cross reference to falling numbers at one West Somerset Railway…)
    • Application does not contain details of how parts of the property ‘Fairview’ would have to be removed
    • Owners object to the demolition of ‘The Halt’ bungalow
    • The railway will divide productive farmland and the proposed crossings in mitigation are awkward and unsatisfactory for the farmers (to their credit the farms concerned would withdraw their objections if bridges were provided)

    The key to the planning application being successful is (obviously) to prove that the benefits the railway would bring outweigh the negative impact on Parracombe. The committee meetings which determine the applications (unless called in) should be interesting – after all, as the largest applications ever handled by ENPA it would be naïve to think they would not go before the committee (if not public inquiry) and be decided under delegated powers.

    I asked earlier about heritage railways being awarded CPO powers. As has been discussed in this thread, only one heritage railway appears so far to have been awarded CP powers (though another would like them). In that case the trackbed was already nominally in single ownership. The L&B is a very different ball game. At least two of the required landowners at Parracombe appear to not wish to sell to the L&B under any circumstances (one uses the words ‘arrogant and offensive’ to describe the way the railway has approached them). CP powers are theoretically possible – but if worst comes to worst would they actually be granted?

    It will be very interesting to see how it all pans out. What has been achieved at Woody Bay is excellent, but there is very much a feeling that the railway is waiting to burst out at either end and the volunteers are itching to get cracking with the next bit - at present an oft quoted line in respect to Woody Bay (which I think was originally said by their GM) is “there’s only so many times you can get the volunteers to paint the station railings”.

    One of the programmes produced by Lynton Television refers to the L&B (and railway preservation) with the line “the impossible can be achieved – miracles just take a bit longer”. But how long?
     
  15. ragl

    ragl Member

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  16. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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    First of all I would like to apologies for the length of this reply:-

    If I can I will try and answer as to what the situation was the last time I was in Devon, this may be out of date a bit, but from what I have been told time can stand still in North Devon:-

    Large amount of additional construction traffic through Parracombe to reinstate the railway and Parracombe bank – quoted at nearly 7000 HGV trips.

    I agree that a number of HGV's will be required to bring in material to rebuild the bank, there was a discussion at one point that an industrial style tipper line could be constructed at the Blackmoor end of the embankment and for us to use the pull in car park to off load the spoil into tipper wagons, another suggestion, I have heard, but I don't know how serious it was and that was to see if a mobile convey belt system could be installed from the same car park to the embankment where it would tip the spoil into the hole once the culvert had been built.

    At one stage I had been told that the culvert was going to be cast in situ and that a concrete delivery pipe would need to be installed to deliver the wet concrete to site, but like I say thing’s may have changed since I last spoke to anyone about this.

    I don’t think the plan ever has been to drive HGV’s into Parracombe itself as there is no point to it, may be use the relief road as required since it is closer to the point where the materials are required.


    Significant development of Parracombe Halt from what was originally there

    As far as I know there were no plans to have any long term significant developments at Parracombe, the only thing that I know has been suggested and that was to build a passing loop at the Blackmoor end or just south of Parracombe halt to allow the passing of trains. As far as I know once we have the station at Lynton, the Parracombe running loop was to be removed.

    So it would then become Lynton - Woody Bay and Woody Bay - Blackmoor as two sections.


    Employment figures are exaggerated Economic benefit and passenger numbers are exaggerated (with cross reference to falling numbers at one West Somerset Railway…)

    I think most people realise that North Devon is not on the direct tourist route to the South West, no matter how hard everyone tries to make it sound like it is. North Devon has been dying on its feet for the last forty odd years. The one thing the L&BR has done and that is to put Lynton back on the map as a place to visit, Yes this has had an impact on other tourist attraction in the area, but not in the way the report suggests, if anything other tourist sites near the railway have reported a slight increase in visitor numbers since we reopened, which has to be a benefit to the local area.

    Also from what I have been told for every full time job on the railway that has been created, there appears to be at least two more have come about in the North Devon area as a result.


    Application does not contain details of how parts of the property ‘Fairview’ would have to be removed

    As far as I know and time can change things, Fairview was one of the properties that keeps coming up on the market, now the last time I asked it was either the Trust or one or two of the Trust membership who had the money in place to buy it, but as I understand it, they have had offers for it, but they don't want to sell it to anyone involved with the L&BR.

    Also I think Fairview was/is part of the Parracombe chess game, from what I recall and once again this may have changed since last time, but Fairview, the Parracombe halt site and some land opposite the halt site where all going to be purchased with the plan to build two new houses opposite the halt thus providing two new homes still in the Parracombe village.

    Fairview might have to be sacrificed anyway as it is very close to the railway alignment, but there maybe some more land next door which could be purchased and once again another new house could then be built in the village to replace it.


    Owners object to the demolition of ‘The Halt’ bungalow

    Yes but the owners have always been consulted up until now, and they have always agreed to listen. At one point they even wanted to sell the halt site to the Trust before now.


    The railway will divide productive farmland and the proposed crossings in mitigation are awkward and unsatisfactory for the farmers (to their credit the farms concerned would withdraw their objections if bridges were provided)


    Moving on to this last point it was agreed years ago that cattle crossings will be built, the long term appearance would suggest proper over or under bridges to link both sides of the railway for the cattle to cross safely.

    Like I have said before things may have changed and this is no way an official reply on behalf of the L&BR Trust, but this is how I see it.

    Regards

    Colin Rainsbury
     
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  17. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    I think I have now absorbed all the planning stuff.

    Firstly let me say I completely agree with 'Charobin'/Charlie. Parracombe is a significant problem, as are the proposed engine sheds at Bratton Fleming in 'Pilton' style, and the horrendous existing road network at Bratton Fleming which is not the fault of the L&BR.

    I have been trying of think of a precedent to Parracombe, and I cant think of one in railway preservation history. I am quite familiar that all that went on with rebuilding the WHR, and whilst there were significant problems with Beddgelert and Aberglaslyn Pass, they were no where near as problematic as Parracombe.

    I have visited Parracombe numerous times, and the delightful St Petrock's Church and it's wonderful interior. The railway Halt is or was very very close to the village centre quite unlike Beddgelert.

    I think the L&BR have made a number of mistakes that could easily have been avoided perhaps. A passing loop and 2 new houses at Parracombe is more than re-instatement. The proposed loco shed at Bratton Fleming is definitely 'big' and I cannot see how it can be justified with the current phase, and the design is not sympathetic to the location. Additionally it is difficult to see how the re-instatement of the missing bit of Parracombe embankment can be built without significant detrimental effect on the locality during the works.

    There is obviously significant and well organised opposition in Parracombe, and in a number of cases this is perfectly understandable from property owners who will be adversely affected.

    Parracombe seems to be the stumbling block over the whole initial phase of the extension.

    It is a bit trite to say the L&BR dont want to use compulsory purchase powers. This seems inevitable having read the neighbours' objections.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
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  18. Chris B

    Chris B New Member

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    Not wanting to be pedantic Julian but the sheds are planned for Blackmoor Gate not Bratton Flemming. It would be wonderful news if they were as the works through Parracombe, Blackmoor and Whistlandpound would all be done! ;).
     
  19. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Bratton Fleming?
     
  20. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    My sincere apologies re error of Blackmoor Gate re Bratton Fleming! I hope though the rest of my post still makes sense!

    Cheers,
    Julian
     

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