HISTORIC railway buildings described as neglected and unloved could be brought back to life if planning permission is secured to carry out work on them.

Science Museum Group, who own Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon, have submitted plans to Durham County Council to repair seven buildings within the Shildon Conservation area.

The plans refer to The Welcome Building, Soho House, Soho Cottages (number three and four), Soho Shed, the Goods Shed, the Parcel Office and the Black Boy Branch Buildings.

All of the buildings are Grade II listed, excluding the Welcome Building, the Goods Shed and the Parcel Office.

A statement submitted with the application reads: "The buildings are in a poor state of repair due to a historic lack of maintenance over several years. Some of the buildings were closed to the public over the last few years due to their unsafe nature.

"Since then they have suffered rapid decline, which has not been helped by an increase in vandalism.

"They currently have a neglected and ‘unloved’ feel to them. The purpose of the project is to address the repairs required to arrest their decline and to make them structurally sound, water and

weather tight."

It continues: "The primary aim of the proposed development focuses on the external repair works to the buildings, with the repairs to the external fabric of the buildings being carried out as a matter of urgency, in order to make them water and weather tight. Once the external repair works are completed then the internal defects will be attended to.

"The buildings are a fantastic asset to the site and add to the rich history of the area, which is highly significant in terms of connections with the Stockton to Darlington Railway, Timothy Hackworth and the development of the railway.

"The proposed works address the repairs required to arrest the decline of the historic buildings on the site and to make them structurally sound, water and weather tight. The proposals will benefit the aesthetic value of the building assets by preventing them from declining into further state of disrepair and ruin."

Members of the public have until Tuesday, July 23 to comment on the application and a decision is due to be made by Friday, August 2.

To view the application online visit: publicaccess.durham.gov.uk/online-applications/ and search for reference DM/19/02024/FPA