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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Old Kent Biker, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    Umm...they must have a TWAO to operate the extended railway. CP powers are a different matter

    Keith
     
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  2. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    The website to buy shares in the pub is still live.
    https://www.lynton-rail.co.uk/page/blackmoor-station-purchase
    There seems to be 2 facebook groups and the Lynton&Barnstable Railway one (with the &) still encourges people to support the planning application unchanged from 2016 to make changes to the pub building, which has some negative comments as it could potentially lead to a CPO.
    There must be a way the new platforms could be made (maybe in a slightly different location?) with agreement of the pub owners?
     
  3. Meatman

    Meatman New Member

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    someone might correct me if im wrong but i believe the original plans when shown were for the railway to skirt around the boundary of the pubs land,pass under the road and for a new station to be built in the car park on the opposite side of the road to the cattle market,if this were the case maybe it would pay to revert to this plan so that if CP powers needed to be used only a piece of land would be needed and would not really affect the station inn as such,perhaps the new road bridge could be designed so that if at sometime in the future if the inn was available,the running line could be altered to accommodate the current plan
     
  4. 60044

    60044 New Member

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    I suspect that there are tactics in the form of a game of chicken play by the pub's owners here, to hold out for a better price. They must know that if it comes down in the end to a compulsory purchase that will be subject to an independent valuation - and who's to say it will reach the level of the valuation they commissioned, which may not have been by an impartial body? It's probably best, therefore, to not watch or speculate to closely and let negotiations proceed behind the curtains.

    If the case for the greater good is strong enough then the TWAO will be granted along with whatever powers will be needed to make it happen. One disgruntled property owner isn't going to stop ha, jus like lots of them weren't going to stop HS2!
     
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  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    The difficulty as far as I understand it is that residential property, rather like cars have a 'book value' in most cases whereas Commercial Property is nowhere near as 'liquid' a market and comparables are much harder to find
     
  6. Beckford

    Beckford Well-Known Member

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    It's possible that there are some tactics but they said: "The Old Station House Inn is NOT on the market and has not been since April 2000 when we bought it, we certainly have no need or current desire to sell." That looks more fundamental than a question of price.
     
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  7. ross

    ross Member

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    The owners of the Old Station House Inn have an established business that they have worked 20 years to develop. This business caters to a local need, brings money in to the local economy and employs a number of local people. It is their home, their wealth and their livelihood. They don't want to give it up. They don't want to go and start over somewhere else. Moving their business even a mile down the road might damage that business-the atmosphere of a pub is a large part of its success (or failure). Reasons for the success (or failure) of a pub/restaurant can be hard to identify. There's the service, the welcome, the food, the beer....and some stuff like luck that can't be readily identified or quantified.
    Pubs, particularly country pubs, are closing every week, and have been for the past thirty years. The Old Station House Inn has managed to buck that trend- the owners are demonstrably therefore, good at what they do, and are doing it in a good way in a good place.
    IF compulsory purchase powers were granted to the L&B, an independent valuation of the Old Station House Inn, taking in its current and projected turnover, goodwill, and a reasonable measure of compensation for future turnover would likely put a 7 figure price tag on it. That wouldn't mean that the L&B would actually have the financial power to actually make that purchase.

    Some people who like trains (this includes me) covet the premises of this business, and would like to recreate a railway that existed for 37 years over 80 years ago.
    Coveting something doesn't give one some moral right to have it.
    A proposal that might be good for local interests will find if difficult to gain support to wreck a business that IS good for local interests.

    It seems to me that the L&B management would do well to recognise these facts.
    Then apologise, publicly, to the pub owners for the harm that might have been done to their business by the rumours etc of late.
    Promise to never again approach the owners asking them to sell.
    Ask the pub owners whether they have a proposal or suggestion whereby a rebuilt railway could have a station near the old station site. The pub owners will be astute enough to realise that passengers from the railway will require food and refreshment, and may be interested in visiting an iconic Lynton & Barnstaple Railway station, which may add to their already successful trade.

    I don't know whether the management of the L&B have experience of successfully running a hospitality business. But I have seen a number of optimistic novices waste hundreds of thousands of pounds finding out that they didn't know how to run a pub, people with successful careers in all sorts of fields, and about 3 in 4 fail in the first 3 years. Those that have succeeded are where the new business becomes the consuming passion, interest and effort of the owners.
    Running and extending the railway is going to be plenty taxing for management, without side issues of running a non-railway related business (and VAT, and non-charity accounts, etc). Investing a borrowed million quid ( or two Manning-Wardle's) in a pub which would be, at best, a distraction from the core railway business, seems a foolish move, especially as that million could be better spent on rail and sleepers
     
  8. MartinBall

    MartinBall New Member

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    It really seems that there is little prospect of a sale, therefore (to return to the issues of the company established to run the inn for the L&B) those investors who put money into the L&B scheme should now be contacted with details of the return of their investment. Remember, this was not one of those 'buy shares to help the railway' schemes where no-one expects a return, but it was advertised as being likely to pay dividends in the medium if not short term. Some of us put a lot of money into the company and expected some return. This now doesn't seem likely, so our moneys should be returned. I will contact the company and let you all know the response (however, I expect yet more fudge from them....)
     
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  9. Meatman

    Meatman New Member

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    actually according to a letter from the station inn solicitors dated 14/05/2019 they clearly state the pub IS FOR SALE, it is quoted that for the record mr and mrs shepherd have informed the trust that they will not be selling the pub,house or land to the trust but as prudent business people wish to sell it as a going concern to potential buyers at no less than the valuations they have received,it also states in the letter that they purchased the pub in 2000 yet in another paragraph they seek to maximise the return on their 25 year investment into the business yet they have only owned it for 19 years....plenty of conflicting issues going on here i think.
    go to north devon planning,search planning ref 66617,make sure you click the copywrite box,search documents and in the list look for 190528 footanstey,this is the letter from the inn's solicitor
     
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  10. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    Considering that the long-term aim is to restore the railway on most of its original route, but only to the outskirts of Barnstaple and to a station in a new location near Lynton, how much does it matter whether it uses the original alignment at Blackmoor Gate or a new alignment avoiding the pub?
     
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  11. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    It's ultimately up to the L&B how they proceed, but if the acquisition of Blackmoor is essential to these plans then they need to start re-building a sense of good will. A good step in that process is open, honest discussions with the owners of the Old Station Inn, a commitment to avoiding the threat of a compulsory purchase, and a mutually agreed independent valuation of the pub. Alternatively, work with the current owners to find an alternative that is mutually beneficial. The social media game isn't going to do anyone any favours, but does quickly generate bitterness and leaves each side open to a rogue individual doing something stupid
     
  12. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Duplicated
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  13. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    "Light blue touch paper........ !" :)

    More seriously, the priority surely has to be to get the line up and running. For now, at least, the original site is a thriving business .... and Bob knows, Exmoor sorely needs as many of those as it can get. It'd be hypocrisy on a grand scale to castigate opposition to the L&B's reinstatement for taking a purely selfish view, then for the lines' supporters, however well intentioned, to do precisely the same thing when it comes to Blackmoor.

    Whilst we're on the subject, I wish to make clear my total and unconditional condemnation of anyone employing harassment or bullying of the folks running their business at Blackmoor. Aside from being utterly deplorable, such idiotic behaviour helps no-one and I'd hope no-one, on either side, would see things differently.

    Blackmoor looks set to be the 'New Pilton" and at this point, who's to say how the complex may need to develop, over the years? Looking perhaps decades forwards, it may even eventually prove possible to re-acquire the original station and (so long as approaches on the remaining original alignment are safely in the hands of either the L&B or Exmoor Associates), to 'undivert' the running line at this point. Unwanted expense, for certain, but in the grand scheme of things, hardly on a par with the Dduallt spiral and New Moelwyn Tunnel. Who knows? It may even prove to be that, even if the old station is re-acquired at some future point, there may be valid reasons to keep the diversionary alignment. It's not impossible!
    Am I the only one who's been pawing over OS maps and geological surveys, trying to work out if (against all odds) some workable means of eventually punching through to a future mainline interchange at Barnstaple might exist? Yeah ..... WIBN ..... I know!! :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
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  14. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt New Member

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    I had just found this letter - well worth a read. It states that they wish to retire and sell the business. It is not clear whether this includes the acommodation. Since this is the case and is a matter of Public record I am unclear why they seem unwilling to negotiate with the L and B Trust.
    Bear in mind also that re-instatement is part of North Devon's local plan so Planning consent will not be issued for anything which compromises this. This was why an objection was raised to application 66617 and since the Bridge work has been carried out the planning for the route from Blackmoor to Wistlandpound cannot be cancelled. This may have an impact on the value of the Pub to any buyer other than the railway.
    No doubt this will have been discussed at the recent members event and members will be updated in due course.
     
  15. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    I don't think there is an unwillingness, but I believe that the railways offer is considerably lower then the owners would be willing to accept and that's lead to an impasse
     
  16. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    If it is possible, I suspect the original route is the best of a bad bunch. And should the Civic Centre ever fall due for demolition, the routing could be straightforward - just a bridge to build over the river and weave through the trading estate to Junction.

    I'm not sure local drivers would be so keen, though - the junction of Pilton Causeway/Alexandra Road/Rolle Street is not the best!
     
  17. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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    Found a 1930s photo of yard.pilton
     

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  18. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    I'm not sure that it would be possible to 'undivert' the alignment at Blackmore Gate in the future as, if I recall correctly (and don't have time to check), the new proposed alignment is to allow for a bridge under the much altered main road rather than specifically to avoid the pub (the old station building).
     
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  19. Meatman

    Meatman New Member

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    Even if the civic centre did fall, developers have been allowed to build a block of flats over the old track bed at goulds yard so the line would have to run down the road, britannia Bridge style
     
  20. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    I'd forgotten those! But I somehow think getting across the roads at Pilton would be the key issue anyway.
     

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