Wednesday, 29th March 2017

Rother Valley Railway takes big step towards completing reinstatement of historic line

Temple is pleased to hear that Rother Valley Railway (RVR) has been granted planning consent by Rother District Council for the reinstatement of a 4km section of the Kent and East Sussex Railway, which will connect the existing operational line from Tenterden, Kent to its western terminus at Robertsbridge in East Sussex. The heritage railway is a major tourist attraction in the area and making this final connection will enable RVR to provide an enhanced timetable of services as well as facilitate non-car access to other tourist attractions in the area such as Bodiam Castle. A new station has already been partially constructed at Robertsbridge together with a short section of track and sidings. A direct rail connection from RVR to Network Rail has also been completed at Robertsbridge and this was formally opened by the Chairman of Network Rail in December 2016.

Construction of the section of new single track between Northbridge Street and Junction Road together with three new level crossings, embankment reinstatement and a number of new bridges, was subject to a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment undertaken by Temple, with an Environmental Statement submitted to support the planning application in 2015. Over the last two years RVR has been working with statutory authorities to address a range of issues and concerns, particularly related to flood risk and ecology. Temple has provided ongoing support to RVR throughout this process with sister company, The Ecology Consultancy, providing expert ecological advice on impacts and mitigation.

David Gillett CBE, RVR’s Project Manager said, “This was a challenging assignment for Temple and the professional, comprehensive environmental reports that they produced, contributed significantly to the reasons why Rother District Council felt able to grant Planning Permission.”

Temple’s Project Director, Peter George, added “We are delighted that RVR has obtained consent for the scheme which is an important tourist and heritage asset in the area. Balancing the needs of the railway with the inevitable impacts on landowners has been a challenge and there is still a long way to go before construction can begin. We look forward to being able to provide ongoing environmental support to RVR.”

Temple have provided environmental services on a variety of project, to find out more, see here.