Plans for new £750k Alma Bridge at Sidmouth officially submitted
PUBLISHED: 10:21 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:58 22 August 2018
Formal plans for a new £750,000 footbridge over the River Sid in Sidmouth have been submitted.
Devon County Council’s own application to replace the 130-year-old Alma Bridge with a new structure, 37 metres upstream from the existing bridge, has been validated by the council – but could lead to six months of disruption.
During the construction period, if the go-ahead given, the Ham will be fenced-off and the current footpath leading up to Cliff Road will be closed.
Sidmouth Town Council, the Devon Countryside Access Forum, East Devon Ramblers, Devon Public Rights of Way team, South West Coast Path team and the Devon Safety Audit were all consulted on the plans prior to the plans being submitted and a public exhibition on the scheme was held in April.
County Councillor Stuart Hughes, who is responsible for bridges, said: “A lot of thought and effort has gone into the design of this bridge to ensure it’s accessible to all users as well as being an attractive addition to this end of the town.”
A planning statement submitted with the application says: “A new pedestrian footbridge is proposed which will replace the existing Alma footbridge located at the mouth of the River Sid at the eastern end of Sidmouth Seafront.
“The existing bridge structure is in poor condition and the foundations have suffered several significant scour events. Hence to allow the bridge to remain open, as a precaution, a temporary scaffold bridge over-spanning it was installed in 2012.
“Due to the ongoing significant coastal erosion it is anticipated this temporary arrangement will be lost within the next few years.”
The document says the proposed replacement bridge will secure the South West Coast-Path at Sidmouth for the foreseeable future. It adds: “The existing bridge will remain open during the new bridge construction to allow a route for beach access and emergency beach egress only.”
Devon County Council’s development management committee will determine the fate of the application at a later date.