Green light expected for next phase of repair works to bridge damaged by Storm Dennis
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
The latest phase of repair works to a bridge damaged by Storm Dennis almost four years ago could soon be approved.
A council application for phase three of works to Berw Road Bridge is going before Rhondda Cynon Taf’s planning committee on Thursday, February 8.
Listed building consent is being applied for in relation to a further programme of maintenance and repair to the structure and the associated infrastructure elements of the bridge which is also known as the White Bridge.
The works follow previous applications for works to the bridge with the need for these exacerbated by the damage caused to the bridge during Storms Dennis and Ciara in February 2020.
Due to initial concerns from local residents the scheme was changed in terms of the drainage to avoid any works to trees.
Residents were concerned that previous works included clearance works that had removed mature trees and were concerned that further mature trees would be lost.
The planning report said that the applicant has confirmed that the current proposed works to the bridge would not involve the loss of any further trees and that it is likely that the normal loss of dead and dying trees within the immediate area are the source of these concerns and are erroneously being associated with this application.
The works will include repairs to the abutments, masonry repairs to the wing walls, waterproofing and resurfacing of the bridge deck, the renewal and improvement of the underground drainage, renewal of lighting columns and the stabilsation of the south-east embankment.
In summarising the works, the agent for the application said: “Recent works (including Phase II) have mitigated the immediate risks to the structure’s
integrity and repaired the bridge such that it can be re-opened and remain functional.
“However, additional works are proposed to maintain and restore the structure to reduce ongoing deterioration and further prolong its life and heritage.
“The proposals principally aim to protect the structure and mitigate deterioration whilst resulting in minimal impact on the evidential and aesthetic values of the historic asset. As such, the predicted benefit decisively outweighs the harm to the value of the asset.”
In recommending approval subject to a favourable referral to Cadw, planning officers said in their report: ” The proposed works would further continue an informed programme of maintenance and repair works on this important listed structure and vital piece of transportation infrastructure.
“The works would provide ongoing maintenance and repairs to improve and increase the longevity of the structure and secure its future.
“The works are well justified in the accompanying Heritage Impact Statement which provides a compelling justification for the programme of maintenance, repair and replacement works to the bridge.
“It is considered that the works would be as physically minimal and visually unobtrusive as possible, while as valuable to the future conservation of this important heritage asset.
“Additionally, due to the changes that have been made, following feedback from the public, the works would have a minimal impact on existing trees within the vicinity of the bridge works.
“Consequently, it is considered that the proposed works would be acceptable.”
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