Preservation case justifies extension

An inspector has allowed the replacement of single-storey extensions at a listed railway cottage in Bedfordshire with a two-storey extension, finding that it would help to preserve the building and its setting and improve the character and appearance of the immediate locality.

The cottage had been built in 1864 by the Bedford Railway as accommodation for a level crossing keeper. The listing description referred to the design being a smaller version of stations on the line, several of which were listed. All were designed in the same picturesque style to appease the Duke of Bedford, whose estate the line crossed. The building had been vacant for several years and had become increasingly derelict and vandalised, to the extent that it was included on the council's buildings at risk register.

The inspector was of the opinion that there was a pressing need to get the building repaired and back into beneficial use. He reasoned that the level of investment required and the very small size of the cottage indicated that an extension of some size and substance was likely to be necessary to achieve a viable scheme. The proposal would allow the building to get the degree of attention that it required so as to avoid being lost entirely, he concluded.

DCS Number 100-050-380

Inspector Philip Goodman; Written representations.

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