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Railway Society fights to save Addiscombe Station
Campaigners say they will fight Croydon Council all the way after councilors accepted a Railtrack plan to convert the disused Addiscombe Station site into a mixture of housing and parkland.
The South Eastern and Chatham Railway Preservation Society, which aims to provide a train service and a railway memorabilia museum featuring £70,000 worth of railway memorabilia at the station, has lodged an official complaint against the council in an effort to stop the development.
Last month, Corydon Council's planning and traffic control committee voted by seven to six votes to knock down the 136-year-old Addiscombe Station's buildings to be replaced by 29 houses, 36 flats, 113 car parking spaces and the provision of a large area of public open space.
The Society complains a Railtrack stand at a Woodside School exhibition, held last March as part of a consultation period on the development, was manned by council staff and that a letter of objection about this was not answered by the council.
Members of the Society say that the council has acted improperly in granting outline planning permission to the development because, in June of last year, the society was granted a lawful development certificate for the use of the station as "railway, terminus and carriage shed".
But a Croydon Council spokesman said : "If they want to then like anyone they have a right to complain to the ombudsman but these are not cases of maladministration."
She said that she was unaware of the Railtrack exhibition stand issue, but the planning department was not obliged by law to answer such a letter of objection.
She also added that outline planning permission could be granted even though a lawful development certificate had been granted to the Society last year.
Members of the nearby Canning and Clyde Residents Association have joined the fight to save the station building, saying they are concerned with the effect of extra traffic on Lower Addiscombe Road.
Chairman Steve Collins said : "We're very worried about the necessary re-siting of one of the best-used zebra crossings in the borough opposite Addiscombe Station used by very many elderly people to pick up pensions from the nearby sub post office."
"And needless to say we don't want to see the destruction of the historic building."
The Council spokesman added that all highway issues had been addressed in committee and presented to members and the zebra crossing would only be moved down a few shops.