Network Rail wants to demolish the Grade II listed signal box at Petersfield railway station.
In a pre-planning application to South Downs National Park Authority the company says it wants to introduce new CCTV equipment and lighting as part of an automated signalling system which is being introduced across the area.
They also want to reduce the distance between the level crossing barriers which, they say, will reduce the amount of time people spend crossing the tracks.
To achieve this, the company proposes moving the barrier base closer to the tracks and claims the 135 year old signal box is in the way.
The company says it is:
requesting pre-application advice from East Hampshire Council regarding whether the proposed demolition works would be acceptable under a Listed Building Consent Application and a demolition application.Source: Network Rail Pre-Application Statement, July 2020.
The signal box is a London & South Western Railway Type 3a construction built around 1885.
Historic England says it is classed as Grade II Listed because of its rarity and the survival of original signalling equipment within the box.
The signal box is constructed to a unique transitional design marking the functional and architectural development between the London & South Western Railway Type 2 and Type 3 signal boxes.
The structure contains a ten-lever Stevens (Railway Signalling Co.) frame and locking rack (c1880), together with a circuit diagram, block shelf and block instruments.
It also forms part of a group of well preserved un-designated station buildings, according to the heritage organisation.
What do you think of the proposal?
Once the automated equipment is installed there is no practical reason to retain the signal box, but a piece of Petersfield history would be lost forever.
We’d like to hear your comments about the possible loss of this building. We’ll include a selection of comments in our Morning Report programme.