Work on Ilkeston Railway Station has been delayed again until next year because of rising costs.
Derbyshire county Council confirmed today that the delay is a result of unforeseen work to the car park that would cost £3 million. This would satisfy requirements of the Environment Agency to do with making sure that the car parking area doesn’t flood in extreme bad weather.
Consultants suggested a solution which would have meant raising the car park by about three metres and putting in a series of drains and large culverts to collect any flood water. None of this work was envisaged at the time of submitting the planning application.
This would have added up to £3m to the cost of the station, which the council said is not affordable.
A spokesman said: “The project team, which includes employees from Derbyshire County Council, specialist consultants and employees from Network Rail, are now looking at the whole specification of the station to see where savings can be made. They are also looking at alternative solutions to avoid flooding in the car park.
“This work is taking time, and until it is complete and the council, Network Rail, the Environment Agency and the local planning authorities can agree on the solution then work cannot start.”
Work has also been delayed because of the discovery of Great Crested Newts – a species protected by law and with a declining local population. Newts were found during a routine ecological site survey and they are now being trapped and moved to another location.
The council’s deputy cabinet member for jobs, economy and transport, Councillor Andy Botham, said: “Building a train station is a complicated business. We have had to look at the flood prevention work which we hadn’t foreseen.
“The total budget for the station is £9.1m and we can’t go over this amount. We are now looking at the whole specification to see where we can save money and we need to find a much cheaper solution for car parking at the station.
“It will take some time to obtain the necessary agreements and permission but we expect to start work on site next spring and open the station later in the year.
“We know that this will be frustrating for local people, as it is for us, but we are doing all we can to get the station built as quickly as possible.”
Once work starts it is likely to take place six days a week, with some work taking place overnight, in a bid to speed up progress.
It is now expected to open late in 2015.