The developer for Kilnwood Vale has said it is committed to delivering a railway station despite Network Rail’s position against one.
In 2011 Crest Nicholson Strategic gained permission to provide land for the station as part of its 2,500 home development to the west of Bewbush.
But Network Rail, the company responsible for the railway said this week it did not currently support a fourth station for the town at Kilnwood Vale.
Horsham District Council, the authority responsible for planning applications related to Kilnwood Vale, has also said in a recent planning document that there were now ‘uncertainties’ over a the feasibility of a new station.
A spokesman said: “The railway continues to grow in popularity and Network Rail will always consider options which would help to provide a better service for passengers.
“Any proposals for a new station would need to be supported with a business case which demonstrates that it would be a viable option and not impact on existing stations.
“At this stage Network Rail could not support an additional station here but we will continue to liaise with interested parties on the subject.”
But Crest Nicholson Strategic remains determined to deliver a station.
Technical director James King said: “Crest Nicholson is absolutely committed to delivering the new railway station at Kilnwood Vale in Faygate.
“The station is currently being progressed through the economic assessment phase in close consultation with key stakeholders including Network Rail.
“The Arun Valley railway line is a busy corridor which imposes a number of constraints on the delivery of a new station, but we are working with all parties to overcome these and ensure that we are able to implement a regular stopping service.”
There is also public support for a new station.
Cllr Chris Oxlade (Lab), who represents Bewbush on West Sussex County Council said: “A new railway station is an integral part of the development for access and to ensure we don’t have a huge deluge of road users hitting Bewbush and west of Crawley, so I will be interested to know why HDC says it is unfeasible when it’s been in the plans for years.”
A spokesman for Horsham District Council said: “Conversations between the developer and Network Rail are believed to be ongoing, but it is thought that no final decision has yet been reached.
“As there is no formal decision yet, the council’s Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA) cannot state for certain whether the new station will go ahead, hence the comments on page 156 of Horsham District Council’s draft Interim Sustainability document.
“The SA/SEA is a working document and will need to be updated accordingly as the Council’s draft Horsham District Planning Framework document is progressed towards submission.”