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Rother Valley Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by nine elms fan, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    There are a few more things in the "Documents Submitted during the Inquiry" section of the Inquiry Web-site, but nothing major.
    I cheerfully concede that when it comes to clues as to the Inspector's views, I'm probably 'amplifying noise' (as electronics engineers would say). Still, I think that large parts of the government are either OK with the proposal (HE, EA, ORR), or downright enthusiastic about it (NR), and that has to have some impact with the Inspector (although his views may not be crucial, it may come down to the minister). He'll have the local objectors on one side (none of whom have IMO come up with any crucial arguments against it - the flooding, LC, etc concerns are not strong, particularly in light of the HE and EA positions), and the RVR and a lot of local government on the other; the central government's take may definitively tip the way for him (if it wasn't already going the RVR's way).
    Good points/observation.
    While the point about the track/sleepers already in hand is useful, there will still be some fairly expensive civil engineering to be done. The RVR might want to do something publicly about the funds for those, e.g. get the two main donors to sign letters of intent with specific sums in them, and announce them (they won't be able to release the un-redacted letters themselves, as a main donor wises to remain anonymous - although I suspect many/most now know who he is).
    I looked around for these; I think they must be in the "Proofs of Evidence" section, which now has a number of 'Summary' and 'Rebuttal' documents (of which "David Gillett Summary of Proofs of Evidence" and "David Gillett Rebuttal" are of particular interest).

    PS: I'm struck by the thoroughness of the filings, overall. No matter the outcome, it can't be said that the entire thing wasn't comprehensively explored.

    Noel
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
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  2. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    With regard to the Closing Statements.
    I am afraid that I jumped the gun thinking that these would be on the website - the closing statements are now scheduled for 2nd and 3rd September - so I would expect them be be online around this time.
    There is a note from the inspector here which states what is to happen during the adjournment. Some documents are to be submitted by 13th August and some by 20th August - the ones for 13th August are on the website so we can expect the others in around a weeks time.
    I think the one thing that can be said is that the objectors have been given ample opportunity to present their case.
     
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  3. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    A few new items of some interest in the "Documents Submitted during the Inquiry" section of the Inquiry Web-site:
    The latter is interesting; it describes an "in-principle agreement [with] a local landowner, New House Farm Bodiam Ltd [for] a mutually beneficial arrangement by which land will be made available to RVR on a long lease to be used as compensation planting .. and for flood compensation storage ... to provide confidence to the Inquiry that there is suitable land available to RVR to ensure compliance with the ecological and flood management planning conditions".

    So the RVR is clearly continuing to work with the relevant government bodies (the EA, in this particular case) on the fine details which needed to be worked out after the TWAO (as the Costs Response makes clear, "[it] is premature to determine (a) the extent and (b) the location of such storage. All that is required for the purposes of the Order is to show that there is no impediment to the delivery of the scheme – and to do that, it is not necessary to show the detailed design") of actually putting in the extension.

    Noel
     
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  4. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    I àlso read the Response to costs Application, and found it a very robust case. Its very interesting when it now comes down to the finest points of the why and wherefore, and have to say, I wouldn't want the on the receiving end of that rebuff, because the whole thing begins to make sense, now.
     
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  5. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    I too found that a very interesting document outlining some of the history of the objections. The closing statements will make an interesting read when they appear.
     
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  6. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    I found this part interesting: "The Landowners .. [do not] claim to be affected by the A21 level crossing in any different way from other users of the road. .. What in fact has happened is that the Landowners have pursued a highways case, by reference to the A21, without any proper case to run on their own. ... The way that the Landowners case has been pursued has increased the duration of the Inquiry and put RVR to significant additional costs associated with considering and challenging that objection." I get the sense, here, that the RVR is getting a little tired of the landowners' 'scorched earth' tactics in this matter; not that they won't be civil, if they get the TWAO, but they may well be less sympathetic than they might have been. I suspect the landowners are going to wind up with a large bill from their lawyers (who will be the only winners).

    Noel
     
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  7. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    I too ploughed through all 26 pages of it. It does seem a very solid sort of response, which it needs to be. I do wonder how much all this lawyer stuff is going to cost altogether though. As compared with, say, the actual cost of building a railway line from Robertsbridge to Bodiam, or compared to the cost of a decent, low mileage terrier.
    One wonders whether the mysterious benefactor alluded to by the objectors made his or her money arguing the law for a living and consequently can afford a 3 mile train set. (total speculation and humour on my part. I have not the least small inkling who the person might be)
     
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  8. Fireline

    Fireline Member

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    He didn't. :)
     
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  9. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    I dread to think how much the objectors have spent on consultants and legal representation. With regard to the benefactors the objectors have felt for a long time that they should be told who they are - I just wonder what they would do with this information if they had it.
     
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  10. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    The letter to the Landowners attached as Appendix B is very clear on that point.

    It was an admirably clear piece of legal writing, laser like in its focus and demolition of the Landowners’ argument for costs. It also highlighted just how little room for agreement there is in this particular attritional battle.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  11. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    If the person is local, some people who support the objectors may then attempt to wage a hate campaign against them, flood them with emails, letters etc, try to make their lives uncomfortable in the local area,
     
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  12. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    His name was mentioned on this thread a while back; given his obvious desire for privacy, I won't repeat it (I think I recall who it was), but the person named is very well-known, publicly (as well as being a major rail enthusiast). I'd be quite surprised if the Landowners didn't already have a very good idea who he is; although of course that's not the same as having it formally confirmed.
    I had skimmed it, but a full re-read was interesting. Scorched earth, indeed; and the Landowners' opposition is very long-standing, and has seemingly become even more fervent and entrenched over time. (It makes me curious as to where it's coming from. I wonder if the family was upset by the first KESR; if so, they must have been overjoyed when it shut down, and they got the land back. To now lose the land for a second time...)

    I have to wonder if the Landowners have an erroneous idea of the likelihood of their winning their application for costs. Their lawyers will, I'm fairly sure, have tried to put them in the picture, but it's human nature to hear the things one wants to believe. There could be a double heart-break awaiting them at the end of this process, sadly.

    Noel
     
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  13. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Theres more than one, and both (however there may well be more) have had their names bandied about in the press, both local and national at various times, so there really isn't any secret here, unless, as I say, there are more benefactors who have managed to retain their anonymity. Be that as it may, they have a right to privacy, as do we all, apart from what we choose to disclose about ourselves in public, so this sense of entitlement about identity which the landowners are displaying here, does have a slightly sinister overtone to it.
     
  14. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    The question crossed my mind, reviewing all this: Is there a case where a landowning family objected to the building of a railway in the first place, objected to the closure in the 50's, and subsequently objected to the re-opening as a heritage line.
    I spent 8 years as a parish councillor, and some of my colleagues could be described as pathological objectors. They moaned like hell about mobile phone reception in the valley, but opposed all applications to erect a new mast. They opposed the installation of a modest grey metal cabinet by the broadband people- it would be unsightly. Tried to oppose the closure of the red telephone box, which they subsequently adopted and filled with books no-one reads. They would logically have objected to the installation of a bright red phone box in the first place, though I imagine in the early 20th century people welcomed it as progress.
    I accused the council, as a whole of holding the opinion that with their arrival (none of us had been born in the parish), perfection had been achieved. They themselves made the village complete and perfect, and consequently no change or progress could be permitted.
     
  15. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    I got the distinct impression (from press stories about them) that the landowning family weren't motivated by resistance to change, but (like some farmers) had a real emotional connection to the land. If so, they would have been happy when the first KESR shut down (which meant they could get the land back).

    Noel
     
  16. 2392

    2392 Member

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    Quit agree Ross. Subject no object/matter, there will always the serial objector. That will object everything.........................
     
  17. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    As regards the Objectors, The landowners are on record as being anti selling what they see as their land , The Hoads, originally were quite friendly towards the KESR, As long as it didn't want the land back, As soon as it became clear that the RVR was no longer a group of former KESR members ,wanting to do their own thing, But a group with a clear purpose , and that purpose was the acquiring of the track bed, and re opening of the abandoned sections , the attitude changed, as luck would have it, over the years plots of track bed became available, in one case, the entire farm was purchased, then sold on, minus the section of land the track bed was on, until it reached the point where just 2 major land owners were holding out, The DE Quincey estate on her death passed to her sisters, the daughter of one of whom was responsible for the Robertsbridge train robbery Facebook page, was then gifted a section of land including the track bed, so clearly not going to want to come to terms easily Like others I expect they will be expected to pay their own costs, a double whammy, along with losing their objection, i expect that family to put their land on the market, or possibly, agree to sell to the RVR, should they lose, but quietly, whilst the daughter protests, etc, The Hoads, unfortunately, I can't see coming to any agreement, and the purchase having to be made by using CP powers.
     
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  18. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    One of them formally revealed himself in an RVR filing; it's the other one I've been speaking of.
    The irony is that they seem to be motivated by an emotional connection to their land; but they don't seem to get that at least one of the RVR backers has a perhaps equally deep emotional connection to railroads (from the way he speaks of his time working as a fireman on BR in his youth). The whole thing is a Greek tragedy of epic proportions.

    Noel
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
  19. 2392

    2392 Member

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    Reading through this thread and some of the hostilities from some of the locals. I can't help but recall all the Hoopla surrounding the proposed preserved line that David Shepherd and Co tried to set up on/at the Longmoor Military Railway. OK there were other issues i.e.the site being an active Military base [which it still is] the residents of Liss had all sorts of issues and campaigned against the project with success. Only to then discover that the Highway Department were planning to build a bypass over part of the line!. Which prompted an abrupt volt face to no avail as Messrs Shepherd and Co went else where and the bypass was built!
     
  20. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    Yes but youve got build bypasses!
     
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