Quash The Trainwash

by Quash The Trainwash

Quash The Trainwash

by Quash The Trainwash
Quash The Trainwash
Case Owner
We are the community of and around Great Eastern Street, Cambridge UK. Our campaign against the industrial trainwash behind our houses is for us and all UK communities who want a fair say.
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Quash The Trainwash
Case Owner
We are the community of and around Great Eastern Street, Cambridge UK. Our campaign against the industrial trainwash behind our houses is for us and all UK communities who want a fair say.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: July 9, 2020

CCC agrees that Prior Approval is required - we need more advice to push action

In an email to residents, Stephen Kelly, Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, confirmed on Monday 6 July that the Great Eastern Street train wash require prior approval of the Cambrid…

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Network Rail, GTR, and Greater Anglia are claiming that they can build an industrial trainwash in a residential area without the kind of planning oversight that most development requires. We think that’s wrong – for us, and for all UK communities. 

In Cambridge, the railways want to build a 33m long, 9m high, 7m wide trainwash, operating 24/7 just 25m behind residents' houses on Great Eastern Street, in the middle of the Mill Road Conservation Area. For details, see quashthetrainwash.com.

We are not alone. A trainwash has already been built in Scarborough that is making residents' lives a misery. A similar trainwash is being proposed in Wednesbury.

We are not anti-rail. We all depend on the railway, choose to live near it, and would be content for it to continue as is. Our concern is for the industrial scale of these proposed facilities and where they could be appropriately situated. 

How could this happen? The railways rely on two sets of laws and regulations to enable 'permitted development' without planning oversight, the Railways Clauses Consolidation Act 1845 (RCC Act 1845) and the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015. Together these laws and regulations give the railways a great deal of scope to build for operational purposes. But it's not all-encompassing.

Development is not permitted when the purpose is an "industrial process"The GPDO 2015 Part 8, A.1 (c)(i) says that development is not permitted (without planning approval) when it is a “construction or erection otherwise than wholly within a railway station of – (i) …a building used for an industrial process…”.

Cleaning is an “industrial process”. The GDPO 2015 defines an industrial process as “a process for or incidental to any of the following purposes … (b) the altering, repairing, maintaining, ornamenting, finishing, cleaning, washing, packing, canning, adapting for sale, breaking up or demolition of any article….”

Network Rail says that the trainwash is for cleaning, but defies logic to claim that this is not relevant. In a letter to residents on 06 March 2020, Network Rail said that the facilty is for cleaning: "As the proposed carriage wash is for the cleaning of trains within a railway depot, it is not considered that this represents an ‘industrial process’ and therefore does not meet the definition." 

If we are right, Network Rail may have to go through a full planning approval process. And that would be good for us and any other UK community who want a say about a major industrial development with a serious impact on their lives.

This is just the beginning. In this first phase, we are testing our logic. The legal team will help us decide if we have a case that might allow further action with respect to the Local Planning Authority (Cambridge City Council), the railway companies (Network Rail, GTR, Greater Anglia), and their contractors (Spencer).

How much we are raising? Our legal team has provided a quote for their initial advice in the range of £2040 (£1700 + VAT) to £3240 (£2700 +VAT). We know times are tough. We'd love donations of between £50 and £100, but please give according to you means. 

Thank you. If you can give, wonderful. If you can not, please sign and share our petition. Any support, however small, is greatly appreciated.

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Update 2

Quash The Trainwash

July 9, 2020

CCC agrees that Prior Approval is required - we need more advice to push action

In an email to residents, Stephen Kelly, Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, confirmed on Monday 6 July that the Great Eastern Street train wash require prior approval of the Cambridge City Council. Mr Kelly wrote:

The Council have now had a response from Network Rail and have had an opportunity to consider that response further. I have accordingly emailed Network Rail today to advise them that in the opinion of the LPA, the works to construct the train wash building require the Prior Approval of the LPA by virtue of Class A of Part 18 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order.

Network Rail, GTR, Greater Anglia, and their contractor Spencer Group appear to have overreached their authority.

It is especially urgent that we received this confirmation of our position yesterday because the companies plan to start enabling works this weekend on July 11. While a leaflet was sent to residents indicating that some foundational works were to begin, noting noise in the evenings, we have now heard that this work will involve ‘Piling’. “Piling is a type of deep foundation, used to transfer the load to a deeper level than is possible with a traditional shallow foundation. Vertical columns of concrete, steel or wood, or a combination, are driven deep into the ground to give extra support.”

NetworkRail, GTR, Greater Anglia, and Spencer Group have not provided any evaluation of the effect of piling on foundations in Great Eastern Street. Foundation damage is possible unless a detailed and in depth structural analysis has been done on the surrounding area.

We need to raise £1800 for further legal advice on how to aid the CCC to take action on our behalf, enforcing a pause on this work at least until such time as the lawfulness of this development is established.

Update 1

Quash The Trainwash

April 23, 2020

Legal action has been initiated and the pressure is mounting

Thanks for your initial help supporting our independent legal action to Quash the Trainwash. On Friday April 17th our independent legal team sent a letter to the Cambridge City Council.

As you know, pressure is mounting on GTR, Network Rail, and Greater Anglia to enter into a planning process.

Our letter to the Cambridge City Council explained our case and urged the CCC to confirm their agreement. The CCC is asked to respond by Friday April 24.

We now have the total bill for this initial action. It is a little higher than our approximated initial stretch goal, but does include a discount for some of the work based on our status as a community organisation.

We know it is a tough time to give, but if you have even a few pounds more, that will help.

Many thanks, The Quash The Trainwash team (info@quashthetrainwash.org)

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