Plans to build a bypass to the north of Tallington are back on the table after Network Rail opened talks with landowners and councillors.
The company wants to close the level crossing through the village and proposed two ways of doing so earlier this year.
One comprised a bridge right next to the existing crossing, while another to the south would have involved the demolition of several homes.
But this week Network Rail revealed it had abandoned those plans in favour of a route to the north of the village after a backlash from residents.
A spokesman said: “As a result of this feedback, we have decided not to progress any further with the two options we presented in June, and have met directly with the three most directly-impacted property owners. We are now considering a route to the north of the existing level crossing, and this will be developed over the coming weeks. This includes the parish council’s proposals for a bypass.”
Network Rail will hold two public exhibitions at the village hall on January 21 and 31 to show its updated plans.
Discussions over a northern bypass around Tallington have rumbled on for years with little progress made. But that looks likely to change after the Thurlby family, who own the bulk of the land to the north of the village, came up with a new plan to develop some of the land and part-fund the road.
Philip Sagar, speaking on behalf of a group of Tallington residents and the Thurlby family, said: “We as a village have to come up with a funding initiative to make up the shortfall to build the additional road required creating a proper northern by pass.
“We believe that there is a viable third crossing option, which diverts all through traffic to the north of the village.”
Mr Sagar said the Thurlby family would provide 50 per cent of any increased land value, created by light industrial units on land behind the filling station and limited housing to the north or west of the village, to make up the shortfall in funding for the road.
Parish council chairman Geoff Mayling said: “We anticipate that Network Rail will in January present us with their preferred option which will include the bridge, a short length of highway to the east of the bridge and a short length of new highway from the bridge on the west side of the railway crossing connecting into the A1175 in the village. The Thurlby Alternative proposal is a full bypass on the west side of the railway. This is a longer highway than the highway proposed by Network Rail.
“The difference in cost between the shorter highway and the longer highway on the west side will be funded by the Thurlby family from the sale of land for light industrial and residential use. The cost of the bridge, the highway on the east side of the crossing and the short length of highway on the west side will be funded by Network Rail.”
The plans are shown on the map above. The sand-coloured area would be housing, with 16-acres of community land as a buffer in green. Mr Sagar said a safeguard would ensure this land could never be built on. Industrial units are shown to the east of the railway.
Parish council chairman Geoff Mayling said the plan was an “exciting” step forward.