Station Building Which Featured in Dad’s Army Reprieved From Demolition

Station Building Which Featured in Dads Army Reprieved From Demolition

Many admired and much-loved buildings are not listed, but that does not mean that they are entirely without protection. In a case on point, a rural station building once used in the filming of Dad’s Army was reprieved from demolition thanks to a planning challenge brought by SAVE Britain’s Heritage (SAVE).

Brandon railway station, which dates back to 1845 and featured in a 1968 episode of the TV series, is constructed in the style of a row of cottages and stands beside a station platform. It is not listed, and has been empty since 2004, but it is regarded fondly by local people and SAVE considers it to be of heritage value.

A train operator, Greater Anglia, wanted to demolish it as part of its proposal to upgrade the station’s facilities. The local authority decided in 2019 that the operator could carry out the demolition using permitted development rights and that no prior approval was required. Demolition work had not yet taken place, however.

The council later granted a certificate of lawfulness of proposed use or development (CLOPUD) which appeared to seal the building’s fate in that it enabled the operator to expand the station’s car park onto the building’s footprint and other land, thereby increasing the number of vehicle bays from about 30 to more than 100.

SAVE, however, launched a High Court challenge to the CLOPUD, principally on the basis that permitted development rights could not be used to expand the car park onto waste land which lay outside the operational area of the station and that the development thus required full planning permission.

In conceding that the CLOPUD should be quashed, the council accepted, amongst other things, that in reaching its decision it had failed to take into account a letter from SAVE’s solicitor which put forward that argument.

The SAVE group will now look to work with the Suffolk Building Preservation Trust on drawing up plans for repairing it – an idea which has received the backing of the Dad’s Army Museum.

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