Forum Options

« Back to Miscellaneous Topics Topics

Sign In above to begin adding replies.
 

Planning Permission for a new Miniature Railway

jeggray

Joined: 11-11-15

Topics: 2

Replies: 8

Posted: Sat 27th Feb 2016, 9:49am
Planning Permission for a new Miniature Railway

I am planning to build a 900' x 7.25 in my garden. I will also use a muddy terrace 10' lower than my garden that I own but is part of woodland and thus not technically my garden. This terrace is 250' long and 10'wide. The whole layout will include a stone built engine shed, a turntable a two-road station with paving and room for seats, white picket fences, cuttings, embankments, bridges and a tunnel and the usually associated line furniture. Before I approach my local planning authority to ask if I need permission can any one give me any tips on how to go about this? I know I can just write in, but is there any guidance i can give them as to decisions from other Planning Authorities? I bet the Planning Officer didn't cover Miniature Railways in their degree course! I have also heard that there is an inconsistent reply from different planning authorities. Can anyone guide me to any relevant articles or have experiences they would like to share?
 

Replies To This Post

BillD

Joined: 1-01-97

Topics: 4

Replies: 7

Posted: Sat 27th Feb 2016, 7:30pm

The Havering (London)Miniature Railway Club have been trying to obtain planning permission for a 7 1/4" line in a public park since 2014. Our first preferred site fell through but through the offices of the Parks Dept. we were encouraged to apply for a line in Lodge Farm Park Romford of some 750 metres. It took some time to decide on a route in conjunction with the Friends of the Park who were very enthusiastic from the outset. We knew we would have to apply for planning permission and actually paid for pre planning advice from the Planning Dept. having visited their offices in the first instance as it is easier to speak to someone face to face, show plans etc, rather than on the telephone.
You are quite right that these officers usually have never dealt with these type of applications but our lady officer was very helpful and interested in our project and whilst, in our eyes, was not as speedy as we would have wished, helped all she could although of course had to be non-committal. The Planning Dept. sent letters to over 170 residents who live near to the park as well as to notices in local papers and and in the area of the park. This resulted in about 6 to 10 residents objecting
requiring a full planning hearing. This took place just before Christmas 2015 with the objecting party given two minutes to voice his objections. I then had 2 minutes to rebut his objections after which the Councillors on the committee discussed the application. The application was passed 11 votes to 0. Our application was very detailed and can be viewed on the Havering Planning website under No.1454/15.
All I can add is that we did our homework, got the local Councillors on our side as our line is to be a 'Community railway' with excess income from fares going to charity.
From what you say it may be that you may need planning consent but early contact with your local Planning Authority from the outset would be my advice. I don't suppose the costs vary too much around the country but the pre planning advice and the application itself came to £500.
I wish you every success with your venture.
Bill Dadswell.
Chair, Havering Min.Rlwy Club.
 

jeggray

Joined: 11-11-15

Topics: 2

Replies: 8

Posted: Thu 10th Mar 2016, 8:41am

Thank you Bill. It seems homework and persistence carried the day. Well done to you and your team. I am in a rural location adjacent to a public footpath and 150 m from a road with no houses overlooking our plot. I had a very quick discussion with a young lady planning officer who is early in her career. She was very open and interested but agreed, "we didn't cover this in College". The last thing I wanted to do was to scare her off and resort to other Planners who have experience in dealing with Network Rail applications. I do hope others will contribute to this section of the forum as you have.
Just a note for a laugh. At a recent Parish Council meeting we received a retrospective planning application to install an automated barrier crossing next to a local main line railway station. Apparently they had 'forgotten' to apply for planning permission before it was built and operating. What was the local planning authority supposed to do? Tell them to remove it and put the gates back so the Planners could look into the application in a serious way without undue pressure? However, 'Build and be Damned' is not a policy I endorse.
 
 
« Back to Miscellaneous Topics Topics

Web design by Slingshot