Civils and stations


Bridge plans at dangerous Wareham crossing rejected by council

Amended plans to install a ramped bridge at the dangerous Wareham Level Crossing have been refused by the district council.

In a meeting last week, Purbeck District Council’s planning committee ruled that the amended plans have not addressed previous objections.

Residents had feared that the bridge, which would add about 260 metres onto a return journey between the north and south sides of the town and have a steep one in 12 gradient, would divide the town in two, cutting residents off from local facilities.

In the past, Network Rail has said that the crossing has more than three times the number of incidents than any other crossing in the south west, with 70 trains passing through at maximum speed each day.

Electronic gates were installed in 2010 as a temporary measure to help to address the problem after Network Rail released shocking images of a woman pushing a pram in front of a moving train.

A previous scheme for a ramp was approved by the committee in 2013, but not implemented, with a further application considered and rejected in 2015.

In January 2018, planning permission was denied by the committee due to the “significant impact” that the bridge would have on the area and setting of the listed building, as well as the public concern over the proposals.

Following that meeting, the planning committee wrote to Dorset County Council, stating: “The council understands that alternative options for a new crossing of the railway have been investigated by the county council and that these have all been ruled out for engineering and financial reasons.

“However, the council is concerned that not all options may have been investigated.

It continued: “The council is concerned that the proposed solution is harmful.

“In weighing up the public benefit compared to its impact, the scheme is deemed to be unacceptable.”

The planning committee stated that it objected to the amended proposals, arguing that the “form and nature of the proposals are exactly the same,” with the only difference being the provision of a 1.8m high screen on the balustrade facing 1 Station Mews.

In a further letter to the county council, the committee explained that this alteration does not change the fundamental objection to the scheme and so its response to the application remains unchanged.


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