Threat to reinstatement of disused trackbed as property goes on market

Eric Partridge
The trackbed at Dunsland Cross – Image courtesy Bond Oxborough Phillips

While ConnectBude await the outcome of their Restore Your Railway application for feasibility funding to reinstate the missing Bude to Okehampton rail link via Holsworthy and Halwill Junction, a property which sits on part of the disused trackbed has recently come on the market.

The Granary & Workshop which is sited on the former Dunsland Cross station is being marketed with a guide price of £600,000 by Bond Oxborough Phillips of Holsworthy and refers within the sale particulars to ‘FORMER RAILWAY LINE – Adjoining the northern end of the formal gardens, this extends to just over 2 acres and it is fair to say that the majority has currently been reclaimed by nature providing a great habitat/corridor for wildlife. It is defined along either side by lines of mature beech, whilst the centre is now covered by willow/bramble undergrowth’.

While a change of ownership may not necessarily have any adverse effect on the potential reopening of the line, nevertheless ConnectBude intend to register their intent to reopen the railway with the appropriate agencies.
Consultant to BudeConnect, David Hill-Smith also has an alternative proposal which could appeal to all parties by dividing the sale into two lots.

Mr Hill-Smith, a former chief civil engineer to what was once known as Network SouthEast suggests: “The land required for the railway could be sold as one lot and the land associated with the development opportunity, which would include the former granary, as the second lot.

‘DCC  could potentially buy the first lot, for substantially less than the full £600k for the whole site, leaving a developer to buy the second, in the full knowledge that the site may be adjacent to a reopened railway.DCC may well be keen to buy this land, because it would partially close a gap in the Ruby Way / Pegasus Trail / Granite Way network.”

When contacted by The Moorlander, Bond Oxborough Phillips were unaware of ConnectBude’s interest in restoring the railway between Bude and Okehampton, however Mr Mat Moore, senior manager for the sales agents, said he would inform the present owner of Mr Hill-Smith’s suggestion regarding the division of the sale into two lots.