THE new platform building at Troon’s railway station has moved a step closer to becoming reality after the previous facility was destroyed in a devastating fire.

Officials from South Ayrshire Council have rubber-stamped the Network Rail plans – partly under legislation dating back to the 19th century.

Network Rail’s final designs for the facility – replacing the old building on the station’s northbound platform after the serious blaze in July 2021 – were published earlier this month.

And South Ayrshire Council has now granted a request from Network Rail for ‘prior approval’ for the work – with documents published on the local authority’s website revealing that the proposals were deemed not to require formal planning permission under ‘permitted development’ rules.

The previous building on Platform 1 had to be demolished after the devastating fire broke out on Saturday, July 17, 2021 – as huge crowds of people travelled to the town on a warm and sunny weekend.

No-one was injured in the fire, and though the exact cause of the blaze has never been made public, police said it was not believed to have been started deliberately.

The new building will be similar – at least on the outside – to the old one, using the same ‘footprint’ and the same aesthetics, including a traditional timber façade and slate roof.

Inside, however, the new facility will feature upgraded staff and ticketing facilities, improved waiting areas for passengers, a retail space, a storage area for local community groups and two fully accessible toilets.

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There will also be space in the building for a Changing Places toilet, suitable for people with more significant disabilities – which would be the first such facility at a railway station in Scotland outside a large city station.

The work will also involve the like-for-like replacement of the seven-pyramid canopy attached to the building and placed above the platform itself to give passengers shelter from bad weather.

In its request to South Ayrshire Council for ‘prior approval’ for the new building, Network Rail cited legislation dating back to the 19th century to explain why formal planning permission was not needed – including the Glasgow and South Western Railway Act of 1889, and the Railway Clauses Consolidation Act Scotland of 1845.

Both those pieces of legislation are covered by “part 11 to Schedule 1 of the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992”, according to the Network Rail letter.

It says the development is classed as “permitted” because the station building “needs to be sited in this location” and because its design does not have “any adverse impact on the amenity of the neighbourhood”.

The last hurdle to be cleared is an application to South Ayrshire Council for listed building consent, since the railway station at Troon is a B-listed property.