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Operation Undercover - Press Release

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Bluebell Railway Plc submits planning application for Operation Undercover Project

The Bluebell Railway has submitted a planning application to Lewes District Council for a new carriage shed and improved museum and visitor facilities on, and adjacent to, the up platform at its Sheffield Park station.

The main proposals are:

A key element of the plans is to return the façade of the original wooden platform buildings and canopy on the up platform as close as possible back to their original 1882 condition. They have been much modified over the years, particularly when the Southern Railway demolished part of the structure in the 1930s. Sympathetic brick extensions are proposed at either end of the restored wooden platform buildings to house the museum extension and lavatory and baby changing facilities. These will follow the architecture of the rest of Sheffield Park station.

The carriage shed will provide further storage for the Bluebell Railway's nationally important collection of historic railway carriages and will help to reduce on-going maintenance of these vehicles. Rainwater harvesting from the roof of the carriage shed will provide a sustainable source of water for the locomotive fleet.

Submission of the planning application is a major milestone in the completion of the Bluebell Railway's Stage Two grant submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund for grant funding for this project. The project has previously received a Stage One approval for £2.85m and it is hoped that final approval of the grant will be received from the Heritage Lottery Fund in spring 2008.

Commenting on the application, Nicholas Pryor, the Bluebell Railway Plc Director with responsibility for the project says:

"The submission of this planning application represents the culmination of a very significant amount of work by staff, volunteers and consultants working on behalf of the Railway over the last four years. We have taken great care to develop a design that fits in with and enhances the existing heritage of the Station and respects the sensitive environmental surroundings and I hope we can now move forward to detailed planning for the construction of the buildings to commence in 2008.

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More details, including drawings available in a full article from Bluebell News

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