OPPOSITION from the royal estate, Sandringharn parish council and local residents could mean problems for the railway museum at Wolferton. The former royal retiring rooms are on show at the privately owned museum.
It is claimed that the popular tourist attraction creates serious traffic hazards and has destroyed the peace and tranquility of (he village.
A meeting of West Norfolk council's planning services committee on Monday will consider an application from museum owner Mrs Herta Walker for permission to open the downside royal retiring rooms and signal box for public viewing on a permanent basis.
Two-year planning permission to open the facilities was first granted in .February 1977. This was renewed in January 1979, until December 14 of this year.
Planning permission for conversion of the station buildings to residential use was first given in June 1967.
According to Sandringham parish council, !he opening of the signal box would constitute a potential traffic hazard and danger to members of the public.
They also claim that permanent permission to open the rooms would encourage the owners to extend their activities outside the station.
The parish council also maintains that the owners have opened the museum and shown visitors round outside the approved opening hours.
Local residents have told West Norfolk Council that as the attraction of the museum to the public increases, so will the danger on the roads.
This was particularly relevant so far as the signalbox is concerned, because it was potentially dangerous for anyone crossing the road to reach it from the retiring rooms.
It is also claimed that the opening of the two facilities constitutes a serious infringement of adjacent
residents' privacy and is out of keeping with the private residential character of the station.
Sandringharn Estate supports the views of the parish council, and its agent says that employees of the estate, and others living round the station, have told him that the applicant has not been keeping to the permitted hours.
In support of their application, the museum owners say they are unable to complete an historical buildings grant scheme until they are certain of a permanent income from the facilities.
They also say that if the planning permission remains temporary they will not be able to make any long-term plans.
Diffused opening arrangements, claims the applicant, enabled them to keep the number of visitors down to three cars per hour over the total number of opening periods during the year.
On a peak holiday afternoon, the late summer bank holiday on August 25, there was only an average of 10 cars per hour at the museum.
In a report to the planning committee, a council officer writes: "The rationale behind the original proposal to open up the royal retiring rooms and signal box was to enable the applicant to raise money to finance a new roof and other repairs required to preserve the building.
"While this remains the ambition of the applicant and is a pertinent argument from the point of view of conservation, it has been operating at a level which far exceeds the limits of acceptability insofar as many of the nearby residents are concerned.
"The grant of permanent consent would remove what effective restrictive control the District Planning Authority has over the development", he writes.
A recommendation from the officers that permanent permission should be refused does not preclude the applicant from applying for further temporary planning permission.