Saxmundham Neighbourhood Plan

Station: Town Council welcomes dialogue with Greater Anglia, but does not consider current plan is right for the town

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 10:24 pm

The Market Hall was packed out on the evening of Monday 29th July, for a second public session to discuss the state of Saxmundham Station.  Over 80 people were there to hear officers from Greater Anglia (GA) present their plans for works to be carried out later this year, at the Town Council’s invitation.  Their proposals comprise

(a) a planning application to East Suffolk Council for a renewed one-storey station building, plus

(b) their proposals to extend the car park (and charge users), which is not subject to a planning application, and 

(c) plans to do repair work and some improvement to Platform 2, i.e. the northbound platform (to Lowestoft) – also not part of the planning application.

While the fact that action is now being taken was welcomed, most of those speaking expressed varying degrees of dissatisfaction at the current GA proposals.  Many felt that the single-storey building did not reflect the history and significance of the Station building.  Many also criticised the lack of any provision for commercial or community occupation and use that would be of service to passengers, e.g. a cafe.  The absence of toilets was underlined by several speakers; Greater Anglia staff said that WCs at unstaffed stations are a problem and frequently subject to criminal damage.

The public meeting was followed by a special meeting of Saxmundham Town Council, which had been given till 31st July to get its opinion sent in to East Suffolk Council.  The Town Council’s decision, after full and careful discussion of the issues, reflects closely the views expressed in the public session:

Saxmundham Town Council welcomes the opportunity to discuss with Abellio Greater Anglia the redevelopment of Saxmundham Station and, in particular, the wider area around the Station.

We also fully share the objective of an early, well-designed Station Building for Saxmundham and will work constructively towards it.

The Town Council nevertheless has serious concerns about the current application and therefore opposes it. 

Our grounds and concerns include:

  • The proposed building design, which does not meet the required standard or scale for the location and heritage of the building
  • The absence of provision in the application for community and/or passenger-serving uses of the building, such as a café or shop
  • The large size of the space reserved for ‘operational purposes’, and the consequent smallness of the waiting room
  • The need for adequate shelter and seating on platform two, which, although not part of this application, should be designed as part of the Station as a whole.
  • The absence of provision of WCs
  • The need to design the Station Building in the context of the wider site, including any landscaping, to be sympathetic to and consistent with its Conservation Area status, and the potential for the future regeneration of the wider area.

Our concerns, and points related to other aspects of the proposed development of the site, are further detailed in the attached Annex, which forms an integral part of our representations.

The Town Council has sent a 3 page letter with an Annex setting out the concerns in more detail. You can download and read it from here:

Response final to East Suffolk DC 19 2685 FUL Sax R.Station