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20th July 2018 - Press Release: The Mid-Norfolk Railway – First and Foremost, A Heritage Railway
The old railway track between County School and Wymondham Abbey was saved by the Mid-Norfolk Railway in the mid-1990s with much appreciated financial assistance from Breckland and South Norfolk District Councils. Since then, the MNR has become a very successful volunteer organisation and a major visitor attraction in mid-Norfolk. We have also developed commercial agreements with organisations such as Abellio Greater Anglia, DRS and the Ministry of Defence amongst others for use of our facilities.
With the proposed new township of 8,000 new homes near North Elmham, Broom Green and Billingford, the MNR has had exploratory talks with property developer Lanpro concerning the potential role of the Railway in providing commuter services along our line should this plan ever come to fruition.
While the MNR is always prepared to consider new commercial ventures to help us both maintain and develop our facilities, we are concerned that Lanpro have carried out no feasibility studies into this project to our knowledge and we must also make it clear that we have not entered into any formal agreement with Lanpro nor have any intention of doing so in the foreseeable future. Our primary concern is to preserve our status as a Heritage Railway and, until all the implications concerning the future of the MNR if this new township goes ahead are made clear, which Lanpro have so far failed to do, we are in no position to either support or oppose these proposals.
The Mid-Norfolk Railway would like to stress, therefore, that we have no formal relationship with Lanpro, trading here as “Norfolk Railway Village Ltd” and, in particular, have no involvement, control or input into the plans for the new township which have still to be approved by the planning department of Breckland Council.
We trust that our position is now clear when future press releases concerning these plans are made public.