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Historic rail track reinstatement to go ahead following Water Resources Risk Assessment

18 May 21

Historic rail track reinstatement to go ahead following Water Resources Risk Assessment

Reinstatement work on the historic Lynton and Barnstaple Railway can now move forward following the discharge of planning conditions supported by a Water Resources Risk Assessment provided by Clarkebond’s Hydrology and Flood Management and Planning team.

Clarkebond were appointed by Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust in 2019 to provide rail design services for the first step of an ambitious £16.5m project to reinstate 4.5 miles of this narrow gauge railway line.  These services included producing a Water Resources Risk Assessment (WRRA) to assess the effect that the reinstatement of the remainder of the railway line in Exmoor and the provision of supporting infrastructure are likely to have on the water environment. The WRRA was required to support four planning applications located within Exmoor National Park.

The assessment included the following:

  • Identification of all public and private water supply sources, and groundwater
  • Consideration of dependent features that could potentially be impacted by the development
  • Delineation of the catchment areas of these sources and features
  • Identification of the construction and operation phase activities that could potentially impact these sources and features
  • Assessment of the risk of impact of the development on these sources and features; and
  • Consideration of monitoring and mitigation strategy to ensure that these sources and features are not adversely impacted by the development

The WRRA was able to successfully demonstrate that the proposed works would not cause any adverse effects on sensitive water resources, which led to the planning conditions being discharged. Clarkebond was also able to demonstrate that costly water resources monitoring was not required.

The line closed back in 1935, was brought back to life by enthusiasts in 2004 and now, subject to funding, in five years’ time passengers could be riding the train from Woody Bay, in Exmoor National Park, to Wistlandpound reservoir, about 1 mile outside of the National Park boundary, and a short distance from the North Devon Coast.  It is then proposed to rebuild the line on to Lynton and ultimately back to Barnstaple.

For more information about Clarkebond’s hydrology and flood management and planning services, please contact SeymourD’Oyley@clarkebond.com