End of the line for Network Rail in listed canopy row

THE future of the Listed canopy on Huntingdon station s platform two, which was destroyed by an arsonist in April 2005, is still in doubt. Network Rail, which owns the 1849 building, was given until today (Wednesday) to prepare a schedule of post-blaze re

THE future of the Listed canopy on Huntingdon station's platform two, which was destroyed by an arsonist in April 2005, is still in doubt.

Network Rail, which owns the 1849 building, was given until today (Wednesday) to prepare a schedule of post-blaze repairs carried out without Listed Building Consent and to submit an application for consent.

Or that is Huntingdonshire District Council's version of the outcome of a meeting between the owner, planners and conservationists on June 21.

Network Rail has other ideas. It thinks it is simply preparing a list of the work that has been done with a view to further talks.


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HDC was outraged when repairs to the canopy replaced what planners believed should have been Edwardian wired glass with blue polycarbonate tiles, giving the Lewis Cubitt-designed building a 'Lego-like feel'.

HDC is insisting the wired glass is put back, said planning enforcement officer, Richard Siwicki.

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But a Network Rail spokesman claimed there was evidence after the fire of molten plastic, supporting the not-for-profit company's contention that it had replaced like with like. "We shall be meeting the council again to discuss whether any changes are needed," he said.

Even if there had been a previous botched repair - possibly when the line was electrified in 1986/87 and masts to support the overhead wires were incorporated into the canopy - there may be an outstanding matter of the Listed Building Consent.

The blaze is believed to have been started deliberately in a new coffee kiosk that was installed on the platform in spite of protests from commuters that they preferred to continue to patronise the café in the station building.

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