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York to Beverley rail line plan ‘hits buffers’
CAMPAIGNERS who want to reopen a rail line between York and Beverley say plans being considered by council bosses will “kill off any chance” of it happening.
The cabinet of East Riding Council will today receive the draft Local Plan report which, if adopted, will open up the former route to housing development.
Houses could be built on the outskirts of Stamford Bridge and Pocklington under the plans.
Campaigners say if this happens, “a golden opportunity” for the 34-mile rail route will have been lost.
George McManus, who set the campaign up in 2001 said: “East Riding Council’s own report in 2005 said that reopening the line was feasible. The draft local plan now says it can’t be delivered by 2030 and proposes that the route should be opened up to development.
“We believe they’ve made a mistake and I’ve written to the leader of the council to ask them to reconsider. Building on the route, will in our view push the costs of reopening up and make it uneconomic to ever open the line.
“If this proposal is adopted then the council will be doing a great diservice to future generations and almost certainly delivering a fatal blow to our campaign.”
He said a similar £200 million scheme had recently been given the go-ahead in the Midlands.
John Skidmore, interim director of corporate strategy and commissioning at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Government guidelines only allow the council to include ‘deliverable’ proposals over the plan period of the East Riding Local Plan (up to 2029) and, given the high level of funding required, the council does not believe the Hull-Beverley-York railway proposal will be possible during this time-frame.
“The council does, however, remain broadly supportive of re-opening the line.
“The council cannot outline a protected route for the Hull-Beverley-York railway proposal, as the addition of ‘undeliverable’ items could see the plan found unsound when submitted to the Department for Communities and Local Government next spring.
“The East Riding Local Plan is taking shape and has been the subject of lengthy consultation, resulting in several revisions.”
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