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Signal box denied last gasp reprieve

SHIRLEY Station has been added to a list of borough buildings of special local interest.

SHIRLEY Station has been added to a list of borough buildings of special local interest.

Solihull Council was spurred into action by controversial plans to demolish the signal-box, built 103-years-ago.

The local authority was hoping to get a statutory listing from English Heritage, which would have made it a criminal offence to alter the buildings.

English Heritage looked at the council’s request, but unfortunately decided not to place the buildings on the statutory list.

However, Solihull Council agreed last week that the Edwardian buildings should be put on a local list.

This could not prevent Network Rail pulling down the signal-box, but it does afford some protection against future development.

Councillor John Reeve, cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, said the council had done what it could. “We have tried our best to preserve these historic buildings for generations to come,” he said.

“It is a pity that they were not able to be placed on the statutory list by English Heritage, and afforded the protection that this type of listing can give.”

Hilary Walker, who lives in nearby Brook Close, said that the signal-box had been demolished in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“They did it overnight, once the trains had stopped running. It was heart-breaking to go down the next day and see that it had gone,” she said.

Residents are now hoping to place a commemorative bench where the signal-box used to stand.

* A book of photos, taken by railway buff Martin Creese, is available now from www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/1682489

 

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