Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Abandoned Cultra Railway Station to get a new lease of life

A derelict listed railway station that is now owned by the Republic of Ireland’s ‘toxic bank’ Nama could be about to receive a lifeline.

Cultra Railway Station, which is more than 100 years old, was dismissed in a condition report as being too expensive to restore — but according to Nama, one buyer is now in final negotiations to purchase and restore it as a residence.

The station has fallen into disrepair and is now on sale for a fraction of its original value. It is the subject of a Facebook campaign to safeguard the building for future generations.

According to Alliance councillor Larry Thompson, the building faces a bleak future if it isn’t saved soon. He has been working with Holywood Conservation Group, local residents and Alliance colleagues to save the old station.

“In the last few weeks I was delighted to learn about the unconditional interest being shown by a potential purchaser who seeks to acquire and restore the building for residential use,” he said.

A condition survey has been commissioned and bid for purchase made despite the building’s dilapidated state.”

“After reading the condition report, which outlined the dire state of the building, I was particularly pessimistic, but news from Nama provides a glimmer of hope that the campaign to save Cultra Station House may soon be ready to depart.”

Cultra Station House has a two-storey section, once used as the station master’s residence, and a main station part of one storey. It has been a private home since 1937 but was vacated in the 1970s and fell into disrepair, and became a target for vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Alliance councillor Andrew Muir said he had sought to expedite the sale through his contacts at the Dail and Nama is now reporting that a “competitive sales process is being conducted” and parties are in “further negotiations”.

“I now understand that these negotiations are in a final stage and whilst I accept Nama's statement that ‘the final sale price will have to reflect independent assessment of market value’, sale possibilities seem positive,” he said.

Factfile

Cultra Station House was built in 1897 and is assumed to have been designed by GP Culverwell. It replaced Sir Charles Lanyon’s original design which was burnt down in a malicious fire. The replacement was built in a typical decorative red brick late Victorian style and is a listed building, partially two storey and partially single storey. The two storey portion was once living accommodation for the stationmaster and the single storey housed waiting and ticket collection areas.

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