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Helston railway protesters let off steam at public meeting
7:00am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
Campaigners protesting against plans to build a railway station near Helston were able to let off steam at a public meeting last week.
More than 100 people crammed into Nancegollan Village Hall to discuss planning applications for Trevarno Farm at Prospidnick that have been put forward by Helston Railway Company.
A show of hands indicated that a majority of people at the meeting were opposed to the proposals, with many preferring a suggestion to turn the former Helston branch line into a cycle track instead.
The concerns are over plans to use a temporary platform at the farm and build a permanent one, as well as extend the track and sidings, form a car park and turn buildings into workshops and shops.
There is a separate application for an access road.
Campaigner Adrian Curtis said: “It was no surprise to us that most local people are opposed to these plans. When Helston Railway was within the former Trevarno Gardens site it was self contained and had little impact on residents. These new plans impose an industrial site on a quiet rural hamlet, and have already seriously impacted the local environment.
“We were also very surprised and concerned to learn that Helston Railway Company has no lease for the site they plan to develop. They have already been evicted once, who is to say this won't happen again after a lot of damage has been caused to the beautiful Sithney Parish countryside?”
Other issues raised at the meeting included concern from residents about their water supply being “detrimentally affected” by the railway and skincare company's plans, as they were on a private supply.
It was also claimed that Helston Railway Company was not recreating the former Helston Branch line, but instead “constructing a couple of miles of track in the countryside for visitors.”
It was stated that it would be “virtually impossible” for the group to use the track between the mainline at Gwinear Road and Helston, as there were houses on the track at Praze-an-Beeble and an industrial estate at Nancegollan, plus bridges would have to be rebuilt.
The proposed new access road near Chynhale Chapel caused concern for some residents, who were worried about it worsening flooding problems in the area caused by water run-off from nearby fields.
It was also feared the planned access road could cause cars to travel faster on already “hazardous” local roads, by making the road wider and encouraging cars to speed up. There are very few footpaths for local children and residents to walk on.
The safety of school children, with potentially increased traffic outside Trannack Primary School, was also raised. Children and parents exit straight onto the road, with no pavement available outside the school.
Richard Barnes, chairman of Helston Railway, said of the meeting: “It went very well. Views were heard from all sides and a lot of good comments were made.”
He added that a lot of points raised had “no bearing on planning whatsoever.”
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