The Grade II listed building underwent extensive renovation having been empty for more than a decade and since 2018 has been used as offices and also houses a heritage area, where the station’s history is on display.
Plans for a cafe on the site have never taken off.
Now, Lincolnshire County Council is looking to take on the building and has applied for change of use from community hub and heritage centre to adult day centre.
While agreeing the station building would be a good setting for the centre, the plans have been met with concern by one Rasen resident who has asked how the heritage aspect can be ‘abandoned’ in this way.Hazel Barnard was involved in the creation of the venue and the heritage stories.
She was the first person to comment on the plans published on the West Lindsey planning portal last Friday (January 28).
Here concerns on the plans are two-fold; the lack of mention of current office users at the site and the loss of community hub and heritage centre.
She said: “How can a building that was funded by Heritage Lottery money on the clearly laid out understanding that the central area be a visitor attraction displaying the history of the building to interested individuals and groups be so lightly abandoned?
“Indeed, all other funders came on board because of that very reason.
“The pandemic had caused the closure of the building to visitors but it is now able to be opened and there is an interest for this to happen.”
Mrs Barnard continued: “So, what happens to the heritage area?
“Will people still be able to visit it? Nothing in the application explains this.
“The whole basis of the building was it would be self supported by the letting revenue of the office spaces so the community area and heritage centre would be there for the visitors and locals alike to enjoy.
“How can all this be put aside? This was not a commercial venture, but all undertaken by a Community Interest Company (CIC) formed to allow funding to be sourced. “
Mrs Barnard added: “My comments are not directed at the proposed end-user, but that this is not what the townspeople were promised when the CIC was formed.”
According to the plans submitted, the centre would be in use from 8am to 6pm on weekdays, with between seven and nine service users attending each day.
Most days there would be three, or occasionally four, members of staff working at the centre.
As part of the change of use, an accessible toilet pod would be installed in the former station master’s room, which was the community space, but is currently used as office space.
Listed building consent will also be needed to undertake this work.
Planning documents state this will be applied for by the building’s owners, Lindum.
○ Full details of the planning application can be seen on the West Lindsey District Council planning portal; reference 144304.