On the 14th November 2022, the Secretary of State for Transport granted development consent to North Somerset Council’s application to restore passenger rail services to Portishead and Pill.
As the explanatory note to the full Development Consent Order (DCO) explains:
This Order authorises North Somerset District Council to construct a new railway on the formation of the disused Portishead Branch Line railway and to carry out works to upgrade the existing freight only Parson Street to Royal Portbury Dock railway to allow it to be used for passenger railway services.
The purpose of this Order is to allow passenger services to run between Portishead and Bristol and to connect into the wider national railway network. The railway will, once open to passenger services, be owned and maintained by Network Rail Infrastructure Limited.
The works also necessitate the diversion of an existing public footpath that crosses the railway at Barons Close, Ashton, Bristol.
The Order permits North Somerset District Council to acquire, compulsorily or by agreement, land and rights in land and to use land for this purpose.
The Order also makes provision in connection with the maintenance of the new section of railway.
A copy of the plans and book of reference referred to in this Order and certified in accordance with article 55 (documents to be certified) of this Order may be inspected free of charge during working hours at the offices of North Somerset District Council at Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston–super–Mare BS23 1UJ.
The order comes into force on 5th December 2022. Full wording can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website here.