Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Family Jewels To Be Sold Off? - 2974/6271
Written by Lee on Friday, 13th July 2007

Gordon Brown has announced that thousands of homes will be built in the West in a bid to tackle the affordable housing crisis (link below.)

The following quotes caught my eye here :

"Some half a million new homes were expected to be built in the region over the next 20 years under the previous plans."

"Communities have been going through a process to determine how many there should be in each council area, and these blueprints may now have to be ripped up."

"The PM announced a new homes agency would bring spare public land into housing use, including disused defence bases and hospitals."

"More than 550 Government-owned sites are under consideration to make way for 100,000 new homes, while councils are under pressure to give up brownfield land with space for another 60,000."

"English Partnerships is working with the Ministry of Defence to release six or more sites with space for more than 7,000 properties. Further negotiations are under way with the Department for Transport, the Highways Agency and the British Railways Board Residuary Body, while the Department of Health is urgently reviewing its surplus land."

"The new homes agency will be told to enter partnerships with councils, health authorities and the private sector to provide more shared-equity projects."

"A Planning Reform Bill will be introduced to speed up major housing infrastructure projects by streamlining the system. "Putting affordable housing within the reach of not just the few, but the many, is vital both to meeting individual aspirations and to securing a better future for the country," Mr Brown told MPs."

This could well impact on the land around Melksham station (links below.)

Re: Family Jewels To Be Sold Off? - 2974/6529
Written by Lee on Friday, 27th July 2007

The Parliamentary under Secretary of State, Department for Transport (Tom Harris): I have today issued revised and expanded guidance to BRB (Residuary) Ltd (BRBR) on the procedures that should follow prior to disposing of its non operational estate.

Historically the company has been required to make an assessment as to whether a property is likely to be needed for a rail, other transport or Brownfield development use in the future. Part of this assessment has involved consulting parties in the rail industry, local transport and planning authorities and other potentially interested parties. The new guidance that I have issued today makes it clear that these arrangements will continue. In addition it now sets out in clear terms what we expect to happen as and when a consultee identifies such a use for the site in question. Specifically the company is now expected to ensure that the body that has expressed an interest in the site should take on the holding costs as soon as possible and acquire the site at market value, within a reasonable timeframe. The new guidance makes it clear that in the majority of cases a period of six months represents a reasonable timeframe for interested parties to acquire a site.

This new guidance will ensure that the company continues to facilitate and encourage transport and Brownfield development projects and that the promoters of such schemes have ample opportunity to purchase sites. It will also ensure sites can be released on the open market for development in a reasonable timeframe where no realistic transport or Brownfield development opportunities can be identified.

In the case of surplus BRBR land, which is not needed for a future Transport use, BRBR and English Partnerships will be working closely together with a view to that surplus land being released for housing development, which is a key Government priority. A substantial number of BRBR sites have been identified for joint assessment with English Partnerships for housing development and a similar approach is being adopted in relation to Department for Transport Agencies, such as the Highways Agency.

Copies of the revised guidance have been placed in the libraries of the House.

Re: Family Jewels To Be Sold Off? - 2974/9259
Written by Lee on Wednesday, 2nd January 2008

The land around Melksham station appears on the Register of Surplus Public Sector Land (link below.)

link to index of articles

Save the Train was the campaign to bring an approriate train service back to and through Melksham.

Most big contributors are still around writing at the Coffee shop forum where new members are very welcome.

The train has been saved - sort of - we have stepped back up from an unusable service to a poorish one but it's doing very well. We did that through setting up the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership. That fulfilled its early objectives; it has been taken over by local and regional government types who are now doing medium and long term work. The team from this forun can also be found at the Melksham Rail User Group (which was the Melksham Rail Development Group at the time these articles were written and we had no users.

We mustn't loose sight, though, that the train service remains poor and needs our community support in marketing and campaigning to keep it going in a positive direction ... and all the more so when we're expecting to find a different normallity once we get out of the Coronavirus Pandemic and head for zero carbon via the climate crisis. Yes, it's saved ... it's now a key community facility ... the need for enhancement and the strong and near-universal local support remain, and the rail industry and goverment remain slow to move and provide the enhancements even to level us up with other towns. Please support the Melksham Rail User Group - now very much in partnership rather than protest with the rail industry and local government, including GWR, TransWilts and unitary and town councils. And please use the trains and buses, and cycle and walk when you can.

-- Graham Ellis, (webmaster), February 2021

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