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Railway society's grand restoration plans

By Charlotte Bentley | Bishop's Castle | News | Published:

Plans have been submitted by a railway society to enable them to carry out their restoration dreams.

Andrew Wood, Lin Dalton, Janet Broxholme, David O'Neill, Roger Dalton correct and Peter Broxholme

The plans, submitted to Shropshire Council by the Bishop's Castle Railway Society, outline a change of use of the old weighbridge building in the town as well as re-purposing an existing Great Western Railway 'Banana Van' freight into accessible toilets.

The society have been restoring the old weighbridge building on the Station Street site in the town for the past year and dream of turning it into a learning centre where tourists can re-live the railway as it used to be.

Volunteers have completed the main restoration of the weighbridge and its building, which included securing the walls, roof and windows to make it watertight, and are now awaiting the further decision.

Lin Dalton, of Bishop's Castle Railway Society, said: "We are applying for a change of use but the building has never really had one before. When it was built it didn't really exist.

The Bishop's Castle Railway Society who are fundraising to repair an old weighbridge

"The building was even used as a cold store in the 70s. We have put in the application so we can move forward and make the building more public friendly.

"There needs to be accessible toilets and a refreshment area and places to make it appeal to the public."

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The design and access statement said: "It is the mission of Bishop’s Castle Railway Society to save this building and the associated weighbridge mechanism by returning the site and building into regular beneficial use and for it to be utilised as a base for the society in the town and as a community venue where small events, exhibitions and displays may be accommodated whilst the story of the lost railway infrastructure in the locality is interpreted and retold for new audiences.

John Rimmer with the steel yard

"The Planning and Change of Use Application to Class D1is a step to realising these long-term objectives."

Class D1 refers to non-residential institutions, such as buildings used for medical services or providing education and displaying art.

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Andrew Wood cleaning up leaves from the bottom of the weighbridge

A comment from Shropshire Council Conservation on the planning application, said: "This proposal is strongly supported in order to retain the non-designated heritage asset and to get it back into a viable long-term active use, where the proposal has been well thought out and considered."

The Bishop's Castle railway ran from 1866 to 1935.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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