DOUBT has been cast on Ed Vaizey's claim that the campaign to reopen Grove railway station could be nearing its conclusion.

The Wantage MP claimed this month that a train station at Grove was becoming a ‘considerably more positive prospect’.

However, Network Rail and Williams F1 put dampers on the ambitions at a Vale of White Horse District Council planning meeting last week about plans for 400 new homes at Monks Farm to the north of Grove.

Network Rail was understood to be arguing that the two pedestrian crossings to the north of this site would not be able to cope with the increasing number of people using them, sparking safety concerns.

When asked about the station, a company representative is understood to have said there was no funding in place and that Network Rail had nothing substantive in its plans regarding the station.

However despite multiple requests from the Herald it did not clarify its position.

Meanwhile, Williams stressed that it was not against the station in ‘principle’ but said it had ‘no choice’ but to object to a plan that included part of its current site for building work.

A spokesperson said: “Locating a station on (our) site is impractical and would pose a long-term risk to continued growth and investment. The plan appears to give no consideration to the significant implications and practical realities of a station being located on an active, high-tech employment site.

“Williams therefore continues to strongly object to this area as a possible site (and) urges the council to select the alternative site within the draft Local Plan.

“Any proposal for a station needs to take into account matters such as access, infrastructure and any wider community benefits.”

Mr Vaizey said he supported Williams’ position that the site must not compromise its operations.

But, he said, another site could be chosen to 'bring immense benefits to the local community'. He said: "The council, Williams F1, the local community and myself will continue to work together to realise the opportunity of a new station at Grove.”

Julie Mabberley, campaign manager of the Wantage And Grove Campaign Group, said the station may still be 'a long way away'.