Bratton Fleming Purchase

1st October 2020 Update

May I again thank everyone who has donated to the appeal to buy BF Station. I am humbled by your generosity, and grateful for your patience during this prolonged hiatus.

Things are moving at glacial speed as far as preparing for the exchange of contracts goes. The last I heard from our solicitor (last week) was that she was waiting the results of a ‘Title Search‘.

We are ready; the funding is in place (albeit with a couple of short-term interest-free loans, which now must be repaid ~ so we still welcome any further donations people feel able to make) and we are just waiting for the word from the legal agents that we are good to go.

As soon as I have any news about the progress, I assure you that I will let you know immediately.


A quick update …. we met with the agent and vendors on Friday (17 July) and it looks like our offer to buy has been accepted. We are keeping everything crossed.

The previous would-be purchasers had gone as far as having a survey done. One thing that was flagged up was the septic tank (which is actually situated outside the curtilage of the station) which might not conform to modern regulations. New regs. came into force in January 2020 to do with sewage treatment plants. This is unlikely to come to anyone’s attention unless the Environment Agency (another EA!!) decides to undertake a spot-check ~ or when the property is sold. It will be a priority for any new owner to get this sorted.

Buyers Information Forms have been sent out and returned completed to the Estate Agents. ‘Under offer’ has appeared on their website this morning (Tuesday 21 July) and fingers crossed, it proceeds to ‘Sold’!

Any more news will appear here.

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26 thoughts on “Bratton Fleming Purchase

  1. Yes I was aware of the Septic Tank problems as I am very involved with Rowley Moor House [RMH] and also I had looked at Fair View at Parracombe which also does not meet current regulations. It is something that will have to be thought about once we have acquired BF Station but not until it is used in any way – stage 2! When the time comes, we at RMH have details of contractors who can do the necessary job.

  2. It has been too long since Exmoor Associates made a purchase, but this is worth the wait. Now we must build up the reserves again so that we can purchase more trackbed! Congratulations to David for his leadership regarding the purchase of Bratton Fleming Station.

  3. I trust that many others are supporting my measly 500 quid to carry this through. Well done EA!

  4. Taking Jim’s point a stage further, it will clearly be many years before the L & B will be extended as far as Bratton Fleming. In view of this and provided Exmoor Associates are able to purchase this unique asset, it could provide a regular and considerable source of income as a holiday cottage. From the estate agent’s details, the building looks in excellent condition and would be an attractive place to spend a holiday. The income generated would be available to purchase more track bed etc. and also to repay those who made recent loans to EA to enable the purchase of the station site.

    Assuming EA is able to complete the purchase of the station, we are minded to keep it as a residence in the medium term – in order to maximise its potential. There is already Chelfham to show how an original ‘small’ L&B station would have looked.

  5. When will the first train run in?

    I think everyone who is a Friend of Bratton should be in line for a complimentary ticket!! I just I hope I live that long!!

  6. This is fantastic news. I’m delighted that I’ve been able to make a modest contribution. Well done to all concerned.

  7. Super news! Three of the intermediate stations hopefully acquired (as distinct from the Halts). Thanks to all who donated, and full marks to David Cameron for leading the enterprise, and the many hours spent!

  8. Well done David.

    Is there any potential to divide the site, preserving the trackbed, station and operational requirements and sell some of the land to generate some funds?

    Steve, I suppose the ex-Goods Yard could be separated from the rest of the site at some date in the future, but there are no immediate plans to do so.

  9. Excellent David, very well done! The combination of Friends and Just Giving, with a deadline, worked a treat. Agree with Jim about ongoing fund raising. Do you have trackbed purchases on the horizon for which money could be dropped into a Just Giving site when it comes to hand?

    Thank you, Rob. We are in touch with several land owners regarding their trackbed, but nothing is in immediate range.

  10. I’m puzzled about the septic tank being outside of the site curtilage and presumably also therefore the land which the ‘Friends’ will buy?

    With main sewage any problem with the drains is the responsibility of the land owner under whose land the problem occurs, regardless of the source of the drainage – eg if the sewer to my house blocks/collapses under my neighbours land it is his responsibility to fix it, not mine. Is the situation with septic tanks different then?

    Thank you for that Peter; let’s speak with an expert and see where we go from here.

  11. I agree with Jim, great news, and we must now work full steam ahead to fund raise

  12. Well done everybody, and special thanks to David for getting this organised. Quite rightly everybody has their favourite station, but for me Bratton is the jewel in the crown. Trains won’t appear there soon, but this is a big step to ensure that one day they can. Well done!

  13. Well done David!
    I’m in favour of holiday let to generate income. Also keeps the property in good condition. I’m not in favour of selling any land; who knows what the restored railway will need!

  14. As I understood it, the future use of the station would be determined by those who had purchased £500 shares. Just to seek clarification.
    Amazing effort & I’m really please that EA have secured the station (fingers crossed)

  15. David. Excellent news and well done. Thank you for all your hard work, here’s to a successful conclusion.

  16. In regards the septic tank I’d imagine its an old “St Germans” designed one which shouldn’t be an issue as long as it works & doesn’t discharge directly into a water course. (is my understanding from the regs)
    Like most things in life new regulations are not retrospective unless there is a clear safety issue. As a gas engineer I spend my life “un-condemning obsolete or not to current standard appliances.

  17. Congratulations and I’m pleased our very modest contribution helped EA cross the final frontier.

  18. Many congratulations to David and to all those involved with the fundraising, I only wish I could have contributed more! Please keep us posted once you have dates for exchange and completion on the property, thank you.

  19. I have added a comment to the NEWS item “SNAPPER HALT TRACK PANELS” dated May 13, 2019.

  20. Well done to you David having got it thus far, it’s a bit hold your breath and everything crossed now, but with all property sales it takes longer than you think. I agree with using it as a holiday cottage to generate income, I would happily pay to stay in it for a week or more especially around Spring or Autumn Gala Weekends. It doesn’t have a wood burning stove, according to the agent’s details, that would make it attractive throughout the year. I hope to hear some good news soon.

  21. Absolutely fabulous news.
    Fantastic effort by everyone involved especially David C.
    I trust my £150 donation helps to achieve the ultimate goal.

    Thank you very much, Colin. Much appreciated. David

  22. Congratulations to David for this wonderful fundraising effort. To have the station as a holiday let seems a popular choice. I think a residential let would be a better option. A holiday let would need to be serviced for each changeover day, and a 52 week income is not guaranteed. With a residential let there is a
    steady income and a good chance of all year round occupancy. I also believe the station would be kept safer as a residential let rather than a holiday let.
    Again congratulations to David and all F O B who have contributed.

    PS Any news on the post box?

    Thank you for your positive words, Robert. The EA directors are of a similar view, in that it is preferable to have a residential tenant in place rather than have the station used as a holiday let. The former brings in a regular reliable year-round income which will hopefully cover all costs – and maybe even produce a small surplus; the latter, while it might produce a greater return on a selected week by week comparison, would only do so in the holiday season – and would sit empty the rest of the time.
    As far as the Post-Box reinstatement goes, the initial support for the idea has been tremendous. Happily, it seems there are quite a few V.R. boxes of the kind we seek available – at a lot less than the somewhat ‘over-restored’ example I circulated. Let’s bide our time and make sure we get the best deal. One or two FoBs have already started the ball rolling by donating to a letter-box fund!

  23. Wonderful to see Stag’s BFS (the former ‘Long Acre’) advert is now marked “SOLD”! Thank you for all your hard work, David. So happy to see it was all so worthwhile. I look forward to hearing how circumstances progress. Any clarification on the situation regarding the septic tank?

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