Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Planners ‘dragging their feet’ over rail gantries

THE chairman of Goring Parish Council says he is disappointed with the planning authority’s response to

THE chairman of Goring Parish Council says he is disappointed with the planning authority’s response to the installation of “unsightly” gantries along the village’s railway line.

Speaking at a council meeting on Monday, Councillor Kevin Bulmer said South Oxfordshire District Council should have taken a firmer stance when Network Rail began erecting the grey steel structures a year ago.

The gantries are being erected at 100m intervals as part of the electrification of the Great Western main line from London to Oxford and will support overhead power cables.

The gantries don’t need planning permission but objectors claim they are unlawful because developments in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are legally required to conserve or enhance its appearance. They have formed an action group which is seeking legal advice.

At Monday’s meeting, the parish council agreed to give it £500 towards the costs. Cllr Bulmer said: “I’m disappointed that the district council haven’t been taking a lead on this. They’ve been fairly hesitant about getting involved and it feels like they’re dragging their feet.



“They should have been involved from the outset... instead of leaving it to a group of individuals whose achievements have so far been substantial.”

Network Rail has apologised and agreed to consult on alternative designs which could be used depending on costs.



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