Station building faces end of line
A historic railway station building at Bourton-on-the-Water is coming to the end of the line.
At a public meeting, Bourton's new county councillor David Thorpe branded it an "eyesore" and said it would be pulled down and sold for salvage.
The original Station Road ticket office along with the highways depot next door, both on county council land, may make way for a new 75-bedroom care home, providing residential, nursing and specialist dementia care services.
Residents had hoped the iconic building would be saved because Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway had wanted to rebuild it at Broadway, when it extends the tourist line from Toddington. But the voluntary group has pulled out and the building isn't listed, so is unprotected.
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Coun Thorpe told a parish council meeting: "The railway building is clearly dilapidated, of no value and an eyesore.
"The only solution is that the county council takes it down and sells it to a salvage company.
"It's not a listed building and of no practical use.
"The care home needs to go ahead and the building's a danger and falling into further disrepair."
But parish council vice-chairman Gill Crippen said: "It's part of our history and 100-year heritage.
"It needs to go on the line between Banbury and Cheltenham."
She said the issue would be top of the agenda at a Bourton History Society meeting at 7.30pm in the Baptist Church on July 15.
But fellow councillors said the building, built around 1860, is doomed.
Coun Chris Short said: "It's not been saved by the railway people. It's an eyesore and has to go."
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway secretary Robert Goundry said: "It's a pretty little station, but we have to run an operational railway.
"Reluctantly, we had to face all the costs of moving and rebuilding it, somewhere between £50,000 to £100,000.
"It's also not ideal for our needs as Broadway's original station building was in brick rather than Cotswold stone.
"The county council put us on the spot and said they needed to know whether we were taking it or not by the end of the year. If someone came and said 'here's a substantial donation towards the cost' we would consider it.
"But we're a 100 per cent voluntary organisation and don't, at the moment, have any grant assistance."
The Order of St John is looking at building the care home in the village. The plan is part of the county council's Estates Strategy to improve facilities by building 11 new care homes and housing schemes.