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17/01509/LBC | Alterations to signal box to include fitting of safety grilles over windows and doors and removal of modern staircase to first floor (Listed Building Consent). | The Signal Box Station Road Hebden Bridge Calderdale HX7 6JE
  • Total Consulted: 0
  • Comments Received: 3
  • Objections: 3
  • Supporting: 0
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Mr Timothy Machin (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Fri 19 Jan 2018

The signal box makes up an important part of the overall, listed Hebden Bridge Station site as well as being listed in its own right, it has an impact on the neighbouring station buildings - it is in close proximity to the platforms, and clearly visible. As such I don't support this plan - which has a significant visual impact on the box - the Photos of the East Holme box make it look derelict and unused. Although the staircase may be modern, it does form an important part of the building's function, and legibility - it presumably replaced an earlier stair?

If you consider this change in the context of Network Rail's other work at the station - lifts, raised surfaces on platforms, subway, new ticket machines, new signal, platform extensions then this further incremental damage to the station's heritage value. Whilst I very much welcome the overall scope of the planned improvements, there should be a balance between those which improve use and accessibility of the station, and improve the performance of the railway, and those which are simply for Network Rail's convenience - this seems much more the latter.

I would urge a proper search for a community use, and following this, at the very least, a more visually acceptable scheme, which leaves open the possibility of future community use. There are still areas of the station (platform 1 building, lamp room) which seem unused - perhaps these could form part of a scheme?

Mr Giles Perkins (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 17 Jan 2018

Whilst not in it's original condition the signal box at Hebden Bridge station is an integral part of the station setting and surroundings, as reflected in its listed building status.

I recognise the challenges in re-using such railway assets and the equal need to keep them secure in the meantime but the proposals are insensitive to the buildings Grade II listed status are arguably unnecessary especially as alternatives have not be proposed.

The existing site (with the exception of the new signalling location recently constructed as part of the re-signalling scheme) are easily accessed and do not have any palisade fencing. Network Rail's argument is centred around the need to prevent trespass and vandalism (see Section 5, Conclusions of the Design Access and Heritage Statement), but it proposes nothing to secure the railway at this location which at present can be accessed over a low gate and stone wall.

If palisade fencing was installed from the May Royd bridge eastwards towards and connecting to the new signalling location, with an appropriate matching access gate, it would have the double benefit of securing the railway at this potentially vulnerable location and also protecting the signal box.

Removal of the stairs will make any possible re-use even more costly and thus reduce the re-use likelihood of an important and recognised structure on the former L&Y railway.

Alternatives should be fully considered in terms of both security of the site and access to brought back for consultation before consent should be granted.

Diana Monahan (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 17 Jan 2018

I know security arrangements have to be put in place, but personally, I would rather see the costs of demolishing the staircase being put in to making an outer security door grille or roller shutter for the door on the upper floor and perhaps also on the ground floor. I cannot see possible future users wanting to carry portable ladders and having to remove a security panel should access be needed. Unless there is an internal staircase, the first thing a "community group" would probably have to do would be to raise money to put in a planning application to build a staircase and add door security of some kind in order to get access to the upper floor.

On the application form it states
Details of the pre-application advice from Calderdale received:
"Broad agreement with measures proposed to secure building though did ask about possibility of future use by the "Friends" of the station."

They state in the application that they have not consulted community groups. If Community Groups such as the Friends of Hebden Bridge Station or Calder Valley Community Trust had been approached about security, and the Network Rail had said that a roller shutter or grille was too costly, it might have been possible to raise some money for them.

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