FORDHAM: Opposition Mounting To Plan To Replace Railway Station With Recycling Centre

PUBLISHED: 13:54 30 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 May 2010

OPPOSITION is mounting to plans to replace an old railway station with a recycling centre. The Old Station at Fordham could be demolished if plans are given the go-ahead by councillors. Plans were submitted in March by Essex-based waste firm Ahern, who wo

OPPOSITION is mounting to plans to replace an old railway station with a recycling centre.

The Old Station at Fordham could be demolished if plans are given the go-ahead by councillors.

Plans were submitted in March by Essex-based waste firm Ahern, who would replace the existing buildings with a recycling facility, service building, office, car parking, new vehicular entrance and a four-bedroom manager's lodge.

Officers from Cambridgeshire County Council are currently carrying out a consultation on the plans, involving a number of local agencies. A date for a final decision has yet to be set.

Planning documents available to view online show that 19 neighbours to the site have been contacted as part of the consultation process. Of these, 14 have responded - with 13 against the plans.

Elena Wickham, who lives in one of the nearby station cottages, contacted the Ely Standard about the planned development.

She said: "I believe there will be much opposition to the proposed demolition of the Old Station and to the construction of such an industrial business in such a rural location. The proposal will affect many people in the area.

"Personally, I am disappointed that the existing Old Station is to be demolished in the proposed planning application. This building forms part of Fordham's history and it is a shame that it has already come into disrepair. As a homeowner of one of the station cottages, I feel like part of the history of my own house will be taken away if the Old Station is demolished."

She said the development would "completely change" the small farming community from "beautiful countryside" currently enjoyed by residents, walkers, cyclists, train and wildlife enthusiasts, to an industrial landscape.

She added: "Fordham deserves to maintain its beautiful countryside surroundings. The local people should be allowed to put forward their views. An industrial landscape is neither needed nor desired and would have an impact on everyone. There are more appropriate sites for such a business, away from quiet residential properties and farms and away from such a beautiful landscape which is enjoyed by all who pass by."

Fordham station was built in 1879 and served the Bury St Edmunds to Ely mainline. Although the station closed in 1965, the tracks are still in use.

Ahern currently use the yard and buildings for waste management purposes, and the site has already been identified as a preferred site for waste recycling and recovery as part of the Cambridge and Peterborough Minerals and Waste Local Plan.

A spokesman for the county council said it would be "unfair and inappropriate" to comment at this early stage.

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