Cumbria County Council has today welcomed a decision by the Planning Inspectorate that paves the way for a replacement footbridge at Gooseholme in Kendal.
The Planning Inspectorate has approved the council’s application to build the bridge connecting two sections of Common Land at New Road and Gooseholme Park.
New Road and Gooseholme are both registered Common Land and as such any construction work needs to be authorised by the Secretary of State through the Planning Inspectorate.
The application was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate following stakeholder and public engagement last summer and the application received approval on 27 August 2020.
Works are now progressing to secure a final design and appoint a contractor to carry out the construction works in Summer 2021 during the next ‘calendar window’ for working in rivers.
Cllr Peter Thornton, Deputy Leader of Cumbria County Council and Local Member for Kendal Strickland and Fell, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our application for Gooseholme footbridge has been approved by the Planning Inspectorate and we can now move forward with this very important infrastructure project for Kendal.
“It forms a vital part of the town’s pedestrian and cycleway route network, promoting Active Travel in Kendal which is healthier and more environmentally-friendly.
“I’m pleased the Planning Inspector concluded that our bridge proposals would positively benefit public enjoyment of the common land, and that there would be no significant adverse impact on the landscape.”
A replacement structure is needed because Gooseholme footbridge was one of hundreds bridges in Cumbria damaged or destroyed by Storm Desmond in December 2015.
The proposed design is a single span bridge which will improve water flow under the bridge by removing the piers from the river.
The replacement structure will be fully accessible to all bridge users and wider than the original footbridge to provide shared access for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users.
The county council is delivering the £1.65m bridge project and the scheme will be jointly funded by Cumbria County Council, the Environment Agency, South Lakeland District Council and Sustrans.