A borough has seized an “historically important” railway station after its owner neglected the site, leaving it requiring extensive repairs.
This week Amber Valley Borough Council served the owner of Wingfield Station in South Wingfield with a Compulsory Purchase Order.
The site, one of the first railway stations built in England, was opened in 1840 and closed in 1967, more than 50 years ago.
Both the borough council and Derbyshire County Council have been urging the owner to carry out the necessary repairs which are vital to secure the site’s proper preservation.
After years of frustrated attempts to do so, the borough council has today seized the station from the owner and has partnered up with another organisation to make sure that the site is sufficiently repaired.
This organisation – which has not been revealed – “has the expertise and funding to carry out the required preservation work”.
The borough council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, Councillor Trevor Ainsworth, said: “Compulsory purchase is not something we take lightly, but in this case we were left with no other option if we wished to preserve this historically-valuable building.
“We are delighted to be partnering with an organisation which has the requisite experience as we seek to preserve an important part of this area’s rich heritage.”
In March 2017 the borough council, supported by Historic England, served the owner with a Repairs Notice, which was not acted upon.
A spokesperson for the county council said: “We’ve been working with Amber Valley Borough Council for many years to try and save Wingfield Station.
“The building is at risk and is historically important. It was designed by Francis Thompson, who was appointed by Robert Stevenson as the architect for the North Midland Railway.
“The building has a long history of neglect and we hope that the Compulsory Purchase Order is the first step towards securing its future.”
No one was available at the council to say who the owner was, how much the building had been bought for, how much repairs would cost, where the money would come from, or what would be done with the building.
Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service