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Rother Valley Railway

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

  1. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    True - the Public seem to accept Road Schemes more readily than Railways. With the current green agenda I doubt we will see many more major road schemes. Incidentally the plans for improvements to the A21 which were cancelled a while back did NOT include dualling in the Robertsbridge area. I went to Hastings earlier this week and returned to Battle via the A21 - there was a substantial queue to enter Hastings and this was around mid-day. I would imagine that the queue is even longer in the morning peak. A much longer queue than predicted at the proposed Level Crossing.
     
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  2. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Me. I am in favour. Just saying, and this is absolutely not the place for a discussion of HS2
     
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  3. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I agree with @ross that this isn’t the place for HS2 discussion, but the profile of protests against it, which are and have been reported, and road schemes tells its own story.

    However, and relevant to this small project, the test of public interest should not need to be on the scale of such a national project.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  4. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Protests...
    I have come to the conclusion that we live in a nation of media-trained, pathological protesters. We have all been conditioned to believe that all change or development is intrinsically bad. This solution does not benefit me... or I am not affected by the question that this project seeks to answer-ergo I must object. Sign the petition. Download the enter-you-name-here letter, e-mail off to my MP. Done.
    Things like research, reading, thinking out for yourself, formulating an informed opinion, all seem to have been drummed out of most of the populace
     
  5. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    The 'public' are pretty well-known to be horrible at assessing risk (e.g. the relative safety of car and air travel), so an inconsistency here wouldn't surprise me in the least.

    Noel
     
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  6. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Very true, As you enter Hastings along the A21, there is always a queue where you turn off for the industrial estates and ring road, yet, nothing will get done about it, Ideally the new stretch of road, to Bexhill should have joined the battle road at the roundabout, missing Hastings completely, cutting off that bit of the A21,
    Yet our Member of parliament, is somewhat quiet on real problems within her ward, instead of supporting people who are not even in her ward, she might be better advised to concentrate on matters in her own ward,
     
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  7. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    I don't think it has been "drummed out of most of the populace" so much as that most of them have cheerfully, voluntarily, given up the habit, as it's hard work, and we're all (well, mostly) busy creating a society which carefully tries to protect people from the consequences of not thinking.

    Apologies for the off-topic, but you hit one of my hot buttons.

    Noel
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
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  8. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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  9. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    I listened in to most of the last day of the Inquiry. The legal representative for RVR read his closing statement - which I thought put the case very well. All the evidence has now been presented and the Inquiry has formally been closed. The Inspector will be making further visits at the end of September where he will travel on the KESR and visit Robertsbridge Abbey and the adjoining property, Robertsbridge Cricket Club, some of the sites mentioned in recent documents and a footpath which was closed on his last visit. I am sure that work will commence on the report shortly and we will then just have to 'wait and see'.
    I think [as a supporter] that the case for RVR has been very well presented - its true to say that the landowners have been given ample opportunity to present their objections.
     
  10. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    Generally very good (it hits all the important points in a clear and well-laid out way), but it would have benefitted from a careful proof-reading: "In XX Mrs Evans agreed", "a bridge is unlikely to be acceptable [REF]", "agreed by Mr Highwood in XX". I wonder if the RVR had someone proof-read this important filing, independently from the lawyers who drew it up. (I can't recall if I proof-read all the major filings in the major legal case I was involved with, but I do recall reading some of them.)

    Noel
     
  11. Biermeister

    Biermeister New Member

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    I have read RVR's closing statement by their lawyer reasonably carefully and think it is an excellent summary of the state of play. Some salient points are:
    para 129: Planning permission has (previously) been granted (which short-circuits a lot of objector's points);
    para 130: Planning conditions 'shall be assessed to be capable of being discharged' (paraphrased); and
    para 131: Restrictive planning conditions have been addressed -
    * A21 crossing restriction will be discharged when HE (NH) approve the departure (this will occur in the near future)
    * EA's conditions are capable of being met, namely a flood compensation storage scheme can be achieved as can ecological mitigation

    All major agencies (ORR, HE and EA) have therefore been satisfied or in HE's case will be so in the near future.
    What remains will be the 'compelling public interest' (or otherwise) for re-insertion of the railway along its narrow corridor.

    Will the Inspector and subsequently the SoS recommend the compulsory acquisition of that narrow strip of land?
    (RVR have offered adequate compensation for land (and income) lost and mitigation for loss of access through yet to be determined accommodation crossings.)

    In an earlier post (no 1687) I suggested it was 70% likely. I think this may now have increased to 80% (or more).
    Nevertheless, back in the real world we must all just wait and see...
     
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  12. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    I had a good read as well. I did like the cost benefit analogy point akin to the public sector of a ratio greater than one. I thought that was a strong argument for the economic benefits of the scheme.

    I had a go at reading the objector summary as well but I must say I did find it heavier going.

    regards

    Matt
     
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  13. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Whilst most us us want to see the RVR get the approval from the Minister, It pays not to get our hopes up too much, Looking at the cold facts, yes the RVR, and its legal team have done a very professional job, but i just do not trust this government to not be swayed by outside influences, friends of friends etc, in this world very often its not what you know, but who you know, and in some cases what you know about them, and how damaging it might be to their professional standing ;) All's fair in love and politics it might seem. so its a case of :Morewaitingisrequired:
     
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  14. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    I agree. Supporters [like us] will read the documents and be very encouraged by the way the case has been presented - I believe RVR have done all they can to be sucessful. However those opposed to the scheme will probably take a similar view. I understand that the decision will be made around March 2022 - although there may be indications before this. We tried to be patient in the lead up to the Inquiry and we just need to be patient a while longer.
     
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  15. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    I found an interesting Letter to Landowners dated 26 February 2021 at the bottom of the "Documents Submitted during the Inquiry" section of the Inquiry Web-site.

    It says "It seems to me that the threats in your letter are unnecessarily provocative. They do not get your clients anywhere. Those instructing me would not be pursuing this application if they did not expect to secure the requisite powers to implement the scheme, based on its merits. However, because those instructing me are sensitive to your clients’ concerns and have a genuine commitment to co-operating with those who will be their neighbours, I am instructed to confirm that, should the Secretary of State determine to make an order for costs in your clients’ favour ... it will be met either by the applicant or by the Trust." Hmm (added emphasis mine).

    Possibly even more interesting: "your letter makes no reference to the draft agreement relating to the land either side of the A21 ... For this reason, I am instructed to prepare a 'mini-TWAO' for compulsory powers relating to the relevant slivers of land. If we are unable to execute and complete the agreement by 12 March, my client will be compelled to submit this further application. I do hope it will not come to that (as I do not think it will impress the Inspector or Secretary of State if our clients are unable to reach agreement on such a simple matter)". Of course, this letter was written on 26 February, 2021, and the 12 March deadline is now long past us, so perhaps that side agreement has been successfully concluded, but this whole thing casts an informational (but hardly surprising) light on the state of relations between the RVR and the landowners.

    Noel
     
  16. Fireline

    Fireline Member

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    Given the current state of things, and the vociferous manner in which the landowners have objected at the hearing, I would not assume that any agreements have been concluded.
     
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  17. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Sooner, or later though, assuming the application gets the green light, they will have to come to terms, and reach some kind of agreement, the other option will be a simmering feud that will never heal, and bad relationships between the railway, and the land owners, especially if they dig their heals in, and refuse to sell the stretch of land, and the railway are left with no option but to enact the compulsory purchase for the remaining plots.
     
  18. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    I wonder if a decision on costs will be taken, and made public, before then? It is, theoretically, a wholly separate point.

    Noel
     
  19. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    One would imagine that the inquiry result will have a significant bearing on the award of costs. In most litigation, the costs are awarded to the "winner", because, presuming justice prevails, or failing that, law prevails. Therefore the loser acted unjustly, or contrary to what is lawful in fighting the case.
    In a just world, if the RVR has incurred significant legal costs because of vexatious representation by the landowners, there ought to be an award of costs in favour of the RVR, if the railway was so minded to apply.
    Equally, if the inspector finds against the RVR, then the entirety of the legal bill for defending the landowners against the wicked railway scheme ought to be met by the RVR. If they can afford to build a railway, not building one should release funds to meet legal bills.
    One side or other will ultimately be proved to have been wrong all along, but until that judgement we have Schrodinger's litigants
     
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  20. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    Any decision on costs comes after the TWA decision. If compulsory-purchase is not agreed the landowners, but not other objectors, may be entitled to a costs award. If cp is agreed then it’d depend whether they’ve proved unreasonable behaviour by the applicant. The amount of any costs award may then be negotiated/disputed and there’s a separate dispute resolution process if necessary.

    There’s a guide here:
    https://gat04-live-1517c8a4486c4160...ndowners_application_for_costs_appendix_2.pdf
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
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