Case study – High Wycombe station remodelling

Overview

The original High Wycombe station building is a rare example of a terminus station, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. However the railway line was extended soon after opening and a new station was built alongside.

The station operator, Chiltern Railways, wanted to remodel the station frontage, improve access for public transport and increase car park capacity. However over many years their attempts had been held back due to commercial and land issues.

The Challenge

Remodelling station access was being made particularly difficult because the old building, ‘the Goods Shed’ and the land around it had passed into third party ownership, with various tenancy agreements in place. It was also Grade 2 Listed as an historic building.

Further complications arose from the local planning authority and county highways authority who were seeking other improvements associated with improving the access and egress to the station from the highways network and improving the public realm.

The Solution

Working closely with the local planning authority at Wycombe District Council and with Transport for Buckinghamshire, an acceptable design solution for the key highways aspects was developed.

This included obtaining listed building consent to demolish the later extensions to the Goods Shed, returning it to the form of the original terminus building and creating space for the circulatory road, parking for taxis and bus stops and access to the station car park.

Negotiations to acquire the freehold of the Goods Shed site were successful, and were followed by a period of negotiation with the four tenants within the building, ultimately securing vacant possession.

Detailed planning consent was obtained for the remodelling of the station forecourt, amendments to the Goods Shed, and circulation road; a section 278 highways agreement was entered into for off-site highway improvements associated with the improved access.

In parallel, a certificate of lawful development, based on the permitted development rights for railway related uses on operational railway land, was obtained for the creation of a three storey car park on the station car park site, increasing the overall car park capacity to 718 car spaces.

Results

Following our work, the station frontage and access was successfully redeveloped by Chiltern Railways. This included a multimodal interchange as well as more than double the car parking capacity.

Chiltern Railways and the local councils were also delighted with the improvements to accessibility and the aesthetics of the area around the station.

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