By Roger Melton
THE North Yorkshire Moors Railway has won planning permission for a £9.2 million improvement scheme, including a shed to house 40 carriages.
The scheme, for which half of the funding is coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the remainder though legacies and public fundraising, is seen as the biggest-ever single investment in the local tourist industry by Ryedale District Council, which has approved it.
Senior planning officer Gary Housden said the scheme would create up to 50 jobs and contribute £2.5 million to the town’s economy.
The carriage shed development, on a site alongside the trout farm between High Mill and New Bridge level crossings, has been granted planning permission despite opposition from local residents and the Pickering Civic Society, which urged that the NYMR should consider an alternative site at New Bridge quarry. The Environment Agency also expressed reservations about the potential effects on the flood risk for Pickering town centre, despite construction of its “slowing the flow” flood prevention scheme just north of New Bridge.
However, access problems, the sloping nature of the site and uncertainties over the future of the quarry and alternative future uses made it a second best choice for the NYMR.
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