Bridgnorth Development archive

Supporting the project

Charitable Trust - Click here to donate through the Trust.

Preparatory work

October 24th 2016

Operations centred around removing the final items from the former beer garden site, in readiness for the arrival of contractors to start the building works in connection with the new canteen and associated facilities. Early parts of the day were spent in cutting away supporting wires from the felled telegraph pole and the removal of ‘heritage’ bricks from the garden retaining wall along the back edge of Platform 1. The skip previous employed by the pub to collect was moved to the side of the rear pub entrance, where we understand it will now be utilised as a wood store to keep the home fires burning. Eventually and after lunch, we were able to utilise some JCB power in the removal of the buckles attached to the telegraph pole support wires. Finally, the hydraulics were employed to good effect on the demolition of the blockwork retaining wall. A quantity of heritage bricks were salvaged and palletised and removed for cleaning at the Wailing Wall Construction Company compound. Images added to the gallery.

 

October 4th 2016 - Now the Pacific Power event has concluded, volunteers dismantled the hut to clear the building site for contractors to move in. Images below. The hut was collected for re-use by Bewdley volunteers on October 14th. 

August 30th 2016 - With planning consent granted, the work to clear what will be the site of the new-build refreshment room and toilets has been hastened. The Bridgnorth Station Wordpress site has a gallery and description of the preparatory works being undertaken by volunteers before the Pacific Power event from September 21st, after which the contractors will take over the site.

A separate update shows the temporary Portakabin being positioned which now houses the Venturer prep kitchen and stores, the Bar office, and the On-Train Buffet store. 

Planning Permission Granted for Bridgnorth Station Project (19/08/16)

As you will be aware, the Bridgnorth Project Team has for the last three years been drawing up proposals for the improvement of facilities at Bridgnorth station. The first phase of this development will include a new refreshment room and toilet building adjacent to platform 1, the refurbishment of and extension to the Railwayman's Arms, the restoration of the original waiting room and the provision of a new retail area. This will then enable us to remove what has been a temporary building housing the current 'tea rooms' for more years than I and many others care to remember.

 

The second phase will include improvements to the car park in the fields behind the Engineering Works. Over 200 spaces will be created with an environmentally friendly surface, and an exit road will be constructed which will take visitors towards Pan Pudding Hill and under the bridge to leave via Oldbury Road. This is turn will allow us to close the road at the back of the Engineering Works as a through route, and install the ex-Bristol Bath Road turntable near to the cottage, another project that has been talked of for years but which can now come to fruition.

 

The third phase will be the erection of a 53-bed accommodation building with workshop, stores and office for the MPD underneath. This will then release 'George's Siding' (adjacent to Platform 1) for operational use.

 

We submitted two planning applications to Shropshire Council last January, one for the proposed new development, and one for listed building consent to do works to the existing station building. There were a number of comments following submissions by both organisations and individuals which we have responded to over the last few months. We even spent some time erecting a scaffolding facsimile of the proposed accommodation building to assess the impact on the local residents, and as a result, we amended the plans slightly to try and alleviate their concerns. This meant a new submission to the local planning authority which had to go out for further consultation, but fortunately these amendments seemed to be acceptable to all parties.

 

As a result, we have now received the decision notices giving us full planning approval for this scheme in its entirety, the listed building consent on 19th July 2016 and permission to do the remaining works on 16th August 2016. The latter is accompanied by 29 conditions which we have to satisfy, the majority of which refer to the car park, road and staff accommodation building. This leaves us relatively free to start the first phase without too much delay.

 

Whilst we have been waiting for the official approval, we have also been very busy putting in place the structure and plans for being able to start work as soon as consent was granted. The delivery team will be led by Chris Bond, the Railway's Infrastructure Manager, and Oxford Architects who helped us do the final drawings for the planning application. The Project Team will now take on the role of overseeing the project but leaving the day to day running of contracts to the delivery team. We have already been out to tender and as a result, we have appointed a structural engineer, cost consultant and mechanical and electrical engineer. They have been concentrating on more detailed work relating to the actual implementation of our proposals. Iris Construction from Ludlow has been appointed as the main contractor. They have been involved in heritage projects before and impressed on interview with their willingness to accommodate the highest standards of traditional railway work required by the Project Team. A programme of work has been established and work on the first phase of the project is due to start on 3rd October 2016. Chris Thomas and his team have been busy clearing the site in anticipation of work commencing.

The work was originally scheduled to start earlier but a certain Flying Scotsman has intruded on that space a little, and it was felt prudent to allow those days to pass before bringing contactors onto what is a very constricted site. It is hoped, weather being favourable, that the bulk of the first phase of development will be completed by Easter 2017. The booking hall and the new retail area will most likely be done after that date.

 

In terms of finance, a further £807,000 has been allocated from the 2012 share monies, but there is still a shortfall to complete the first phase. A new share offer will be introduced in November to try and fund the balance of the first phase and also the whole of the second phase. It is hoped to raise £2.5M from this offer, and it is categorically stated in the documents that all the money raised from this share offer will be ring-fenced for the Bridgnorth project.

I would just like to pay tribute to the members of the Project Team who have spent the last three years helping to get us to this point. The members of the Team are (alphabetically) Mike Ball, Bob Marrows, Chris Bond, David Redfern, Kevin Simpson, Chris Thomas and myself. In the first year, valuable contributions were also made by Ian Baxter and Ced Jameson. We have also worked very closely with Oxford Architects throughout the planning stages.

 

It is a major achievement and has been done by a dedicated group of volunteers, thus saving the Company a lot of money which can now be directed more usefully to the scheme itself. To those who quite understandably said three years ago – Oh I'll believe it when I see it, because nothing ever happens of these schemes – I would say it is time to start believing! By obtaining the planning consent, we have now passed go (we still need to collect the £200!) in our endeavours to ensure that Bridgnorth Station is given the facilities for the future which are both appropriate and necessary for it to take its rightful place at the forefront of railway preservation.

David Postle

Purchase of 10 acres of land to the West of Bridgnorth Station

(05/10/15)

 

I am very pleased to report the exciting news that the SVR is now the owner of ten acres of land to the west of Bridgnorth Station. The land includes the current overspill car park, the field behind the Engineering Services Motive Power building, the field behind Hanbury Cottage and the scheduled ancient monument of Pan Pudding Hill.

 

The SVR has sought to purchase the fields for some time in order to protect our boundaries from any potential housing encroachment. More recently the fields have become a very valuable element of the Bridgnorth Development Project Masterplan, securing immediately our car parking provision and room in which to construct volunteer accommodation in a later phase of the development at Bridgnorth.

 

With the impending application for planning consent for the Bridgnorth Masterplan to Shropshire Council, the purchase of the land marks further important progress in the preparation of Bridgnorth Station site for the first phase of development.

 

Further details concerning the Bridgnorth Masterplan will be available following the submission to Shropshire Council for planning consent.Our thanks are due to The Apley Estate Trustees and Graeme Manton, the Land Agent for the Estate, for the opportunity to purchase this valuable piece of land.

 

Nick Ralls (General Manager)

Purchase of 10 acres of land to the West of Bridgnorth Station

(05/10/15)

 

I am very pleased to report the exciting news that the SVR is now the owner of ten acres of land to the west of Bridgnorth Station. The land includes the current overspill car park, the field behind the Engineering Services Motive Power building, the field behind Hanbury Cottage and the scheduled ancient monument of Pan Pudding Hill.

 

The SVR has sought to purchase the fields for some time in order to protect our boundaries from any potential housing encroachment. More recently the fields have become a very valuable element of the Bridgnorth Development Project Masterplan, securing immediately our car parking provision and room in which to construct volunteer accommodation in a later phase of the development at Bridgnorth.

 

With the impending application for planning consent for the Bridgnorth Masterplan to Shropshire Council, the purchase of the land marks further important progress in the preparation of Bridgnorth Station site for the first phase of development.

 

Further details concerning the Bridgnorth Masterplan will be available following the submission to Shropshire Council for planning consent.Our thanks are due to The Apley Estate Trustees and Graeme Manton, the Land Agent for the Estate, for the opportunity to purchase this valuable piece of land.

 

Nick Ralls (General Manager)

The shaded areas indicate the fields in question

© 2015-2019 Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) plc