Planning permission concerns for Knaresborough's historical rail station

Knaresborough Rail Station
Knaresborough Rail Station

Concern has been raised for the historical structure of Knaresborough station after it was noted that the works have not been approved with planning permission.

The works to repair and improve the rail station started in August earlier this year and are forecast to last 12 weeks.

But despite the extensive repair works including rebuilding the chimney stack on the signal box, which dates back to the 1800s, Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) has said it deemed planning permission was not necessary.

Knaresborough Town Councillor, James Monaghan (Lib), said: “Knaresborough train station is a grade 2 listed building in desperate need of investment and I’m pleased it is at last getting attention. But, I am concerned that Network Rail have not applied for planning permission for this work.

“In the past such work has led to the loss of important features at the station that we have no recourse to get reinstated and I don’t want to see this happen again. I fear that without planning permission there is no way of holding Network Rail to account or ensuring the work is done to a high standard. I’ve been speaking to Harrogate Borough Council about this before it is too late.”

“Unfortunately the way Network Rail have treated some tenants at the station does not bode well.”

The repairs also include replacing pipes, guttering and making the building watertight to put an end to previous damp problems.

Councillor Rebecca Burnett, HBC Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainable Transport said: “It is really good news that work is being undertaken to improve Knaresborough Station. It was not considered that the works being carried out required listed building consent, because the works constitute repairs and not alterations that affect the special interest of the building.

“These include re-pointing and brickwork repairs, window repairs, roof repairs and floor repairs. The building has suffered from a lack of maintenance in recent years and unfortunately the repairs that are required are extensive, but this does not in itself mean that consent is then required.

“The council’s conservation team is very keen to see the completion of these long overdue repairs and is closely involved with Network Rail in order to ensure that the works are carried out to in an appropriate manner and in order to assist the conservation of the building which will benefit greatly by being brought back into full use.”