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Network Rail submits plans for headquarters
1:00pm Monday 18th February 2013 in News
PLANS for a new regional rail headquarters, employing 580 people, have been submitted to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
The scheme has been submitted by rail infrastructure company Network Rail for the vacant 3.4-hectare Gresley Road triangle site in South View, which is owned by the borough council.
The plans are for a three-storey multi-purpose building and a separate building to train welding with a 140m external track. The proposals include a covered footbridge over the South West main line to link the site with Basing View. The bridge will be open to the public.
The total floor space of the scheme – known as a Railway Operating Centre – will amount to 13,600sq metres. There will be parking for 233 cars, space for 60 bicycles, a gatehouse and recycling facility. The current access from Gresley Road will be kept, but with alterations.
The application, submitted by civil engineers Arup, says the Basingstoke campus will serve the busy Wessex rail route and will “consolidate all signalling and control in one location” as well as providing training in operations and maintenance. Although the site is outside the borough council’s Basing View redevelopment masterplan, Arup says the rail operating centre should link up with it.
Network Rail, which owns and runs the country’s rail infrastructure, will buy most of the site, but hand back the western part, once construction is finished.
The proposals have been scaled back from those first put forward, which involved more buildings. Arup says the current plans achieved very high approval ratings at a public exhibition of the plans.