Disused railway branch lines form an important part of Britain’s rural landscape. Long after the removal of the tracks, the straight lines are still visible in the countryside. Their remaining buildings and infrastructure maintain historical links with the industrial past, while the vacated strips of land are often havens for wildlife and ramblers.
Our client’s brief was to re-purpose a dilapidated railway goods yard, centred on an impressive 1860s brick good shed, sitting on the plains below the Lincolnshire Edge escarpment. We undertook a detailed feasibility study on the site, including planning, heritage, commercial, and ecological research. Meetings with key members of the Parish Council and interested local parties showed an opportunity for creating unique holiday homes that would benefit the owners, local residents and the rural economy.
The design respects the original structure and remembers its industrial past while creating a beautiful setting for getting away from it all. The large goods shed is converted into four holiday houses, entered via a dramatic double-height ‘street’ where steam trains used to pass through the building for loading. Connected to the shed by a raised platform, a new ‘signal box’ replaces its long demolished counterpart. This forms a gatehouse at the site entrance and provides amenity spaces for holiday-makers, whilst the upper floor offers an extra boutique holiday suite with panoramic views. The landscaping replaces concrete hard-standing with indigenous meadowland that is mown into the shape of the missing railway tracks.
Groundwork, local knowledge and integrated design has resulted in a sustainable development plan and unanimous approval by the local authority.