The East Somerset Railway Order
7 Market Place
Web Site: www.dft.gov.uk
Our Ref: TWA/05/APP/01
Your Ref: RC/CC/E1004/12
27 October 2005
1. I am directed by the Secretary of State for Transport to say that consideration has been given to the application made on 6 May 2005 by your clients, East Somerset Railway Company Limited, for the proposed East Somerset Railway Order ("the Order") to be made under sections 1 and 5 of the Transport and Works Act 1992.
2. The Order, if made, would authorise the transfer from BRB (Residuary) Limited to your clients of approximately 637 metres of the existing East Somerset Railway line (part of the former Wells/Witham branch line) at Cranmore, near Shepton Mallet, Somerset, along with the sidings and railway lands at the Cranmore railhead. The Order also includes other non-works provisions, including powers to operate and use the railway for the carriage of passengers and goods and to sell or lease the railway with the consent of the Secretary of State.
3. As this Order does not include any development requiring a development consent, your clients have not submitted an environmental statement nor sought a planning direction from the Secretary of State.
4. The Secretary of State notes that your clients currently use and operate the section of railway concerned for the carriage of passengers and goods under a licence from BRB (Residuary) Limited, and have done so for more than 30 years. The proposed Order would enable the current owners, BRB (Residuary) Limited, to lease or sell the section of railway concerned to your clients, and would give your clients the statutory powers they need to continue to operate the railway in the same way as they have been doing.
5. Following public notice of the application, the Secretary of State has received no objections to the proposals. He has consulted Her Majesty's Railway Inspectorate (HMRI) about the proposed Order and they have raised no objection in principle. Furthermore, the Secretary of State is satisfied with your clients' capacity to fulfil their obligations under the Order.
6. In these circumstances, and since the proposed transfer would result in the continued operation of a valued heritage railway service and tourist facility, the Secretary of State can see no good reason not to make the Order applied for. He does, however, intend to amend the description of the railway in the Order schedule, so that the exact location and extent of the railway undertaking concerned can be more readily identified.
7. For the reasons given above, the Secretary of State has decided to make the Order applied for, subject to the drafting amendment referred to in paragraph 6 and some minor drafting amendments which do not affect the substance of the Order.
8. The Secretary of State hereby gives notice under section 14(1)(a) of the TWA of this determination. A notice of the determination will shortly be published in the London Gazette, following which the Order will be made.
9. The circumstances in which the validity of the Secretary of State's decision may be challenged are set out in the note annexed to this letter.
Any person who is aggrieved by the making of the Order may challenge its validity, or the validity of any provision in it, on the ground that -
- it is not within the powers of the TWA, or
- any requirement imposed by or under the TWA or the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992 has not been complied with.
Any such challenge may be made, by application to the High Court, within the period of 42 days from the day on which the notice of this determination is published in the London Gazette as required by section 14(1)(b) of the TWA. This notice is expected to be published within three working days of the date of the accompanying decision letter.
There is no statutory right to challenge the validity of the Secretary of State's direction that planning permission shall be deemed to be granted for development for which provision is included in the Order. Any person who is aggrieved by the giving of the direction may, however, seek permission of the High Court to challenge the decision by judicial review.