AN online petition has fought back against plans to demolish the Alresford Railway Station house with nearly 200 signatures.

Frank Belgrove, chairman of Alresford Parish Council, is leading the campaign after Abellio Greater Anglia announced its intentions this month to install new and improved waiting shelters at the station, as part of its current franchise agreement.

It said the funding was granted on the condition the disused buildings and ongoing maintenance liabilities associated with them are removed at Alresford - but also Weeley Railway Station and Kirby Cross. The funding will expire once the current franchise ends in October.

In February the village celebrated the station's 150th anniversary. It was built just after the end of the American Civil War and over the past decade has been maintained by voluntary Station Adopters.

Mr Belgrove described the news as a "bombshell".

He said: "We've been working for the station house to be renovated and to be used as a community building of some sort.

"The station house is a great example of Victorian architecture, which is part of the heritage of the community and should be restored not demolished.

"At the meeting it was highlighted various parts of the house needs repair and I challenged this. Although parts of the structure have been allowed to decay by successive railway operators the main building is sound and viable.

"I feel betrayed by Abellio as previously the parish council had been offered finance towards a renovation project, but ultimately we need to save this building for future generations."

A spokesperson for Abellio named Tendring District Council as their main ally and said there are currently no firm or formal proposals to take on the refurbishment of the buildings.

They added: "The station houses at Alresford, Kirby Cross and Weeley have been disused for many years, with no realistic proposals and no funding available from any source to refurbish or rejuvenate them.

"It would cost far more to repair and renew them than it would to demolish them and there are also no funds for the ongoing maintenance of a restored building.

"No local authorities or other bodies have funds available for such projects and the rail industry franchise regime does not fund train operators to restore disused buildings, which are not part of today's operating railway.

"However, where there are realistic schemes on our network to redevelop such buildings for community, business or retail use, we're very happy to work with the relevant partners to take them forward."

To sign the petition, visit