The full meeting of the District Council backed Councillor Peter O'Brien's request that the Council uses its best efforts commensurate with resources available to secure the relocation of the engineering and maintenance facility to a more appropriate location.
Councillors also agreed that, pending the relocation of the engineering and maintenance facility, the Council continues to explore with Network Rail all means possible to mitigate disturbance caused to residents in the vicinity of Grindleford Station. As a last resort, appropriate legal powers should be utilised.
View the debate below:
Mr Rob Tamlyn, representing Grindleford Parish Council, and local resident Mr John Davies spoke at the start of the meeting about the Network Rail operation at Grindleford Station.
Mr Tamyln said:
"Network Rail are literally a law unto themselves regarding planning and environmental issues. No other organisation would be allowed to operate in this manner. Network Rail will not install an electricity supply to the site and would rather use diesel generators with all the noise and air pollution this involves - and these generators run day and night.
"We have attended meetings with Network Rail, sent emails, made phone calls and arranged a visit by our local MP. Network Rail have now said they will do no more to mitigate the problem. It is this arrogance and total disregard for the local community that is our concern. We desperately need the means to stop the expansion of Network Rail at this site."Mr Davies, who said there were 20 properties directly affected by the noise from the rail yard and 30 or 40 further away that experienced noise pollution, played to the meeting a video taken from his bedroom window to illustrate the extreme noise residents are experiencing overnight.
"There are dozens more examples taken over the past five years," he said. "There's work happening on this site every single weekend. On the railway platform there are National Trust posters encouraging visitors to enjoy 'a breath of fresh air and peaceful views'. We've made hundreds of complaints to Network Rail over the years and have seen no change in the way these people operate."Introducing the debate, Councillor O'Brien said:
"The station is on the Sheffield to Manchester rail line in a conservation area and of course in the National Park. It's at the entrance to the Totley Tunnel in a natural amphitheatre surrounded on three sides by residential properties. However I suspect no-one here this evening has visited the station in the early hours of a Saturday, Sunday or even Monday morning. At these times it is more akin to living next to a combination of a shipyard on the Clyde, Forgemasters in Sheffield and under the Wembley Stadium floodlights.
"Network Rail use the former sidings area as the base for six different engineering and maintenance teams. These teams work throughout the night on many weekends throughout the year and occasionally on weekday nights. They have been doing so for the past 20 years but during that time the level of activity has increased 20 times."Seconding Councillor O'Brien's motion, Council Leader Councillor Garry Purdy said:
"There should be no division on this issue. I would like to thank the two speakers - and that sound recording was very impactive. Not to engage is not good for Network Rail's reputation."Summing up, Councillor O'Brien said:
"A very sincere thank you to colleagues around the chamber for your obvious support. It is very much appreciated, not just by myself but by the residents of this part of Grindleford - and I want to publicly thank them. They've worked very hard over the last 10 years to reach an accommodation with Network Rail and Network Rail have refused to listen.
"I hope they take a message from what they have heard and engage with the council in a constructive way and in the interim take rather more seriously the terrible disturbance to our residents."