County allays concerns about Stortford bridge plans
Fears that plans for a new pedestrian bridge in Station Road, Bishop's Stortford, have been scrapped were allayed this week.
A spokeswoman for Herts County Council confirmed that the scheme submitted to East Herts Council late last year for determination had been withdrawn, but a new planning application was being prepared.
She said: “We can confirm that the main purpose of the initial planning application was to formally engage residents in the area. After consulting with them, we are now confident that we can improve the preliminary design and provide a revised and much-improved proposal, for which a new planning application will be submitted.”
The footbridge is intended to replace the current inadequate footpaths on the old bridge - freeing up more width for vehicles on the narrow carriageway.
Residents used the Bishop’s Stortford Civic Federation’s Facebook page to express their disappointment that the first bridge bid – with designs for both a single and triple span structure - had been withdrawn.
Bishop’s Stortford Town Council’s planning and development committee also welcomed the original initiative to stand alongside and supplement the existing Station Road bridge - avoiding a complete rebuilding project and risking town centre gridlock.
Cllr Holly Drake, who also serves on the district council, said when the application was discussed last autumn: “I would say that this a good idea, considering removing the bridge in Station Road would be horrific for the town.”
She said a new route for walkers would also improve safety, taking late night revellers away from traffic on the busy bridge. The town councillors’ only caveat was that the new bridge should be adequately illuminated.
The new link will connect the town centre to Solum Regeneration’s Goods Yard and train station redevelopment.
Its plans for 582 new homes on the 5.82-hectare site, plus offices, healthcare space, an 85-bed hotel and a 55-unit care home, two multi-storey car parks and a new link road connecting Dane Street and Station Road with London Road are currently under consideration by East Herts Council.