A HEAVY demand for catering services on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway has prompted the attraction to apply for a temporary building on its premises.

The K&WVR wants to locate a Portakabin at Oxenhope Railway Station for a period of up to two years.

It would function as a kitchen to serve the railway's buffet facility, which is inside a former railway carriage on the same site.

Philip Balmforth, a director of the railway, outlined the plans to members of Oxenhope Parish Council.

He said the Portakabin would be behind the static buffet carriage and would not be visible from the station's platform. He said it would help the attraction meet the demand from people wanting food when they visit.

He reminded councillors that the railway's plans for a much more extensive, purpose-built cafe at Oxenhope Station have had to be put on hold due to financial constraints.

Councillors considered the proposals in more detail after Mr Balmforth had left their meeting.

Cllr David Ashcroft said: "I understand this is only supposed to be for two years, but once it's there it might remain for an even longer time if they can't sort out their plans for a bigger cafe.

"I'm worried that we'd be left with an unsightly development if they can't afford the larger cafe.

"We should be clear that the temporary nature of this structure is emphasised as a planning condition."

The parish council raised no objection to the temporary building plans, which will be decided by Bradford Council.

K&WVR's application states that the Portakabin would be 5.904 metres long, 3.054 metres wide and 2.573 metres in height.

It adds: "In the previous applications [for the permanent cafe] we identified the economic and social benefits of the railway to the local tourist economy.

"The replacement of the existing life expired station buffet is an urgent priority for the railway to sustain the K&WVR as a major visitor attraction.

"The aim of this proposal is to create some temporary improvement to the existing catering facilities prior to a permanent solution being implemented."