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The troubles of planning permission

Cornish Steam

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 1

Replies: 0

Posted: Wed 6th Jun 2018, 5:12pm
The troubles of planning permission


I'm new to the site and wanted to know if any of you have had problems with getting planning permission granted?
At the start of the year I submitted plans for the Cornwall Miniature Railway in a village called Mawgan Porth on the North Cornish Coast. The paperwork for this project has cost over £20,000 you name it and I had it surveyed or assessed.
The only sticking point for me was the Environment Agency, as some of the railway track was to be located in flood zone 3 they said this went against national planning policy as a miniature railway is not 'water compatible' they are 'less vulnerable' but gave me no justification to back this up. I tried to argue otherwise showing 11 other miniature railways (mostly commercial, with some club railways) all built in flood zone 3 and they operate safely each year and enjoyed by many. Part of their argument was a loss of life in the event of a flood (even though I stated if it were raining it would be closed let alone flooding!
Have any of you got advise to help get this through planning, Cornwall council were keen to pass the application but said they couldn't go against an objection from the EA.

Kind regards,
Richard Curtis

Replies To This Post


Joined: 1-01-77

Topics: 13

Replies: 28

Posted: Tue 25th Sep 2018, 5:56pm

Have you tried writing to your MP? This can be surprisingly effective. Also, back in the 1970s, there was a test case re planning permission for a back garden 5" G railway. The outcome was that PP wasn't req'd for a private railway on your own land. This may not apply if you are going to hold charity events (eg.,village fete work) or giving public rides.


Joined: 10-09-04

Topics: 1

Replies: 9

Posted: Sat 1st Dec 2018, 9:51am

When I laid about half a mile of 7 1/4" track at home in Herefordshire I was told that planning permission was not needed for a private line, as I do not open to the public (although I can have visitors, by appointment). The fact that I used an existing workshop as a shed and did not need to put up any new buildings helped. As a Chartered Surveyor I had discussed the matter with one of the planning officers beforehand and that is what he told me. If I wanted to run a public line that would, of course, be different and planning permission would be needed. Local charity events would, I think, be o.k. so long as a fare was not charged, otherwise there would be insurance implications. In practice I do not carry passengers a lot (although they are welcome) as the line is mostly used for freight, mainly between us and mother-in-law's houses across the field in between.


Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 0

Replies: 2

Posted: Mon 3rd Dec 2018, 7:12pm

Sorry just picked up on this thread. I have to write numerous flood risk assessment to get planning secured and the Environment Agency can be difficult to get on side if your development doesn't fit nicely into one of their categories. Essentially although in flood zone 3, the development is not habitable and the closest category in terms of table 2 of PPG is recreation. I think you have a strong case and do get in touch if you need more guidance.
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