A full planning application has been submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) for the reinstatement of the Leek to Leek Brook Railway line. In a description of the proposal, which has been submitted by Churnet Valley Railway, the plans are for the: “reinstatement of railway track, new platform and replacement footpath on former railway line between Cornhill, Leek and boundary of existing operational railway land at Leekbrook.”
A full planning application has been submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) for the reinstatement of the Leek to Leek Brook Railway line.
In a description of the proposal, which has been submitted by Churnet Valley Railway, the plans are for the: “reinstatement of railway track, new platform and replacement footpath on former railway line between Cornhill, Leek and boundary of existing operational railway land at Leekbrook.”
The proposed use of the site is for the reinstatement of the railway line to the disused track bed in order to reconnect this to the existing operational heritage rail network currently operated by Churnet Valley Railway (CVR).
In the Design & Access Statement, accompanying the planning application, Jonathan Cornes Associates, on behalf of Churnet Valley Railway, stated in the executive summary: “The reinstatement of the disused railway from Leek to Leek Brook will have a minor impact on the current location, habitat and environment when reviewing the key consultees involved in delivering this development.
“It is intended to maintain a segregated walkway alongside the Leek to Leek Brook railway line. The walkway North of the Leek terminus will also be maintained during this development.
“The economic benefit of the reinstatement of the railway connection with Churnet Valley Railway (CVR) and Moorland & City Railway (MCR) to reconnect Leek town will bring a number of important benefits such as a new station on the edge of the Cornhill development site as well as new terminus for the Churnet Valley Railway and the Cauldon Line potentially also linking other visitor attractions such as recently approved Moneystone leisure development.
“The reinstatement will increase visitor numbers and the local economy, creating jobs and additional visitor attractions for Leek and wider areas.”
The statement author continued: “This statement has been prepared on behalf of Churnet Valley Railway (CVR) (1992) Plc for the reinstatement of the former railway line at Barnfield Road, Leek known as the disused Leek to Leek Brook railway line. This development relates solely to the reinstatement of the former railway line track bed to the area shown (in the picture).
“The development will comprise of the installation of a new railway line, pedestrian route with a protected fence as well as associated works.
“The methodology proposed has considered the views of key consultees including Moorland & City Railway (MCR), Staffordshire Moorlands District Council as well as the Adopted Churnet Valley Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document 2014.
“This development will comprise of the reinstatement of a single track railway on the former double track bed on land currently owned by Moorlands & City Railway (MCR) and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC). The land concerned with this development is the land owned by SMDC which is subject to a lease with CVR.”
The Churnet Valley Railway (CVR) currently operates a ten-mile heritage railway between Froghall and Ipstones. Following discussions between CVR and SMDC in February 2017, CVR has agreed to lease land in council ownership which is the former disused track bed and reinstate the track in order to connect ii to the existing railway at Leek Brook junction.
This offer is subject to SMDC securing planning permission for extension of the railway from the existing line at Leek Brook to Barnfields Road, Leek. This would allow CVR to fulfil ambitions to extend the route back into Leek.
Anyone wishing to make a comment about the application to SMDC, have until December 29 to do so.
To see the full planning application, along with all it’s associated documents, go online to: http://publicaccess.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=154292
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