There was a great deal of angst and much discussion about controversial changes to Godalming’s Listed Railway Station recently when ‘Your Waverley’s’ central planning committee met. However it appeared, but there was damn all anyone could do about these and future proposed changes.
Fact is, it appears British Rail can do more-or-less whatever it likes to the Grade 11 listed building under its permitted development rights.
According to council planning officers, the railways companies have more rights than the rest of us.
The scheme under consideration was for Listed building consent for internal and external alterations to provide altered level at the side access door, CCTV and remotely controlled door lock at Godalming Railway Station, Station Approach, Godalming. However, this is only part of a more complex scheme for the station which was not under discussion by the new Central Area Planning Committee… Chaired by Cllr Richard Cole.
Although officers recommended approval – and councillors agreed to grant the application – they made their concerns over some of the future proposed changes loud and clear.
They didn’t like the idea of bollards being erected in front of the station – in regular use by passengers as a drop-off point, despite officers assurances that extra spaces would be provided in the nearby car park!
For completeness, the SWR has given fuller details of future works that fall outside the scope of this application but will be carried out later. These include:
- Installation of a glass and aluminium/steel enclosure with roller shutter on platform 2 to the side of the existing side entrance;
- Installation of three automatic ticket gates, one wide aisle, Station Control unit intercom receiver; customer information screen and heater; Relocation of two ticket vending machines with new canopy and repair of tarmacadam floor;
- Removal of the telephone box and make good tarmacadam floor; Removal of two passenger validators;
Removal of modern galvanised steel fencing and gate; Relocation of lighting column and station sign;
- New bollards to provide a protected walkway between enclosure and station building; Thus preventing drop-offs.
But it is the closure of the unpaid entry on Platform 1 that is causing such consternation for Godalming’s travelling public.
Entry will be prevented by the installation of steel fencing with intercome receivers.
Residents claim there will be insufficient ticket barriers inside the ticket hall and restricting access to Platform 1 will cause problems for existing rail users, and the new residents of Aaron’s Hill when that new development takes place.
So there you have it, folks! – It looks like Godalming’s railway passengers who come from all over the Eastern villages might just find life a tad more difficult than it already is. However, Waverley’s new central planning committee members want officers to write to SWR outlining everyone’s concerns. Here’s what one traveller had to say…