National Highways may have to reverse infilling of historic railway bridge

National Highways may have to restore a railway bridge to its former state after applying for retrospective planning permission to infill it with concrete.

The Guardian reports that the decision to bury the bridge arch at Great Musgrave in Cumbria is facing hundreds of objections a week in a move which has been condemned as “cultural vandalism”.

National Highways has had to apply for retrospective planning permission to Eden District Council to get approaval for the decision last May to pour 1,000 tonnes of concrete and aggregate under the arch of the bridge.

The report says that since the start of last month, the council’s planning department has received 795 objections and only nine expressions of support.

A council spokesperson told the paper, “It’s unusually large, but is not surprising given the strength of local feeling about the issue.”

The Historic Railways Estate says Great Musgrave in Cumbria had “a delightful masonry arched bridge” which was infilled by then-Highways England despite the company’s own engineer recording it as presenting no significant risk to public safety.

(Picture – thanks to HRE Group)

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