Cambridgeshire

Peterborough miniature railway plan for Yaxley halted

Miniature railway, Thorpe Hall, Peterborough Image copyright Peterborough Society of Model Engineers
Image caption The miniature railway was at Thorpe Hall for about 20 years until the hospice needed the land

Proposals to re-build a miniature railway in Peterborough, which left its previous site two years ago, have been rejected by planners.

The Peterborough Society of Model Engineers had to leave Thorpe Hall after 20 years after owners Sue Ryder wanted to use the land.

The society wanted to re-locate to the Hostel Site in London Road, Yaxley.

Peterborough City Council's planning committee has rejected planning permission.

Image copyright Peterborough Society of Model Engineers
Image caption The former site at Thorpe Hall had a clubhouse, which they hope to recreate elsewhere

The Yaxley site, which is owned by O & H Hampton, would have included a clubhouse and 5,100ft (1,500km) of track offering rides to visitors.

'Disappointed'

Jim Rowden, secretary of the society, said: "We've been homeless for two years and the Yaxley site is ideal as far as we're concerned.

"Thousands of people will remember the track at Thorpe Hall and we want to resurrect it for ourselves as railway enthusiasts, for the people of Peterborough and for tourists.

"We're disappointed with the decision, but hope to work with the council to find a different site."

Council officers recommended the application was rejected because it was on land earmarked as an open space in the Great Haddon Urban Extension masterplan and the railway would have been fenced-in.

Yaxley Parish Council objected to the proposal on the grounds of road safety and said it would mean the village would lose more "buffer" land between it and Peterborough.

The site used to be an army training barracks and a prisoner of war camp.

The Peterborough Society of Model Engineers said the project would have cost about £50,000 to £60,000.

The society currently has a 328ft (100m) section of track which they can take to provide rides fetes and other outdoor events.

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