Brandon councillor Victor Lukaniuk says Brandon Train Station's 'destiny has been sealed' amid campaign to save it
A campaign to stop the demolition of Brandon Train Station has been branded pointless by a councillor who said its ‘destiny has been sealed’.
Greater Anglia has set in motion plans to knock down the empty building, which was completed in 1845, and instead bring the number of car parking spaces at the station up from six to 100 as part of a £1million project.
Save Britain’s Heritage has launched a campaign to save the building, which it says is ‘crying out for rescue, restoration and revival’.
Ben Oakley, conservation officer, said: “Having stood the test of time for 175 years, this excellent historic station building deserves an owner who cares and a brighter future than total demolition, all for the sake of additional chargeable car park spaces.”
But Cllr Victor Lukaniuk, who represents Brandon Central on West Suffolk Council, said a campaign to save the Victorian building would only be successful if a viable plan for the building was set out.
“Breckland Council have a had a close look at it and has given Greater Anglia permission to demolish it,” he said. “I’m not going to try and reverse that unless someone steps forward with a sensible, commercial plan for it. In reality, it would be spending a fortune on a building for which there is no commercial use.”
He added that he struggled to think of a plan for the building that would be both supported and successful.
“People turn up five minutes before their train and then they go straight home,” he said. “We can’t turn it into a coffee shop, or a library, or a community hub, because no one would go. It’s sad but I think its destiny has been sealed.”
A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “We recognise the strength of feeling in some parts of the community to keep and restore the old station building, but unfortunately we have not received a viable plan for a sustainable use for the station building or its restoration and upkeep, even though we’ve repeatedly given people more time to come up with feasible proposals. This situation has been going on for over 10 years.
“Brandon is a growing town and we have seen the number of people using the station increase year on year. We want to invest in the station facilities to make it fit for purpose for both now and in the future.”
More by this authorRhoda Morrison