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Railway eyes up a new base on Hayling Island

ON THE MOVE Controller Bob Haddock, left, with station guard Daniel  Hillebrandt and engineer Andrew Rose on the East Hayling Light Railway

ON THE MOVE Controller Bob Haddock, left, with station guard Daniel Hillebrandt and engineer Andrew Rose on the East Hayling Light Railway

 

THE long-term future of an iconic part of Hayling Island’s seafront is looking bright after it found a new home.

Hayling Seaside Railway, which is next to Funlands Amusement Park, has been looking for a new depot as the funfair put its land forward for consideration for future development as part of the council’s Beachlands Masterplan.

Bob Haddock, operator of Hayling Seaside Railway, said: ‘We want the railway to continue, and so do many other people.

‘To secure its future we need to secure a permanent depot.’

Initially five sites were considered for the railway’s new home, but, after talks with Havant Borough Council, they have narrowed it down to one.

Railway staff are hoping to build the new depot on a site off Bound Lane.

Mr Haddock said: ‘There is a toilet block there already.

‘It’s coming to the end of its life, so we are proposing to build there and blend in with the area.

‘There are some bushes in place and we would build behind them and extend them. The building will obviously be bigger than the current one, but we will use more screening. I don’t want to put up a monster.’

Plans are afoot to include a heritage area, which allow local groups to display their work and show what they do.

Mr Haddock added: ‘The heritage site will allow the groups to display what they’ve achieved, in the way of photographs and artefacts,’

The railway is also proposing to build two disabled toilets that would be open to the public.

The plans are still in progress and railway staff still need to attend a pre-planning meeting with the council.

Mr Haddock added: ‘We are doing everything to accommodate everyone.

‘People who live nearby obviously have some concerns, but I don’t think it will be an eyesore.

‘We believe the railway has a great future on the seafront.’

 

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