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Plans for green bridge over A39 given the go ahead

Plans for green bridge over A39 given the go ahead

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 5:53am 16th April 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Plans for a green bridge have been given the go ahead despite concerns that it leads to a dead end.

Highways England has been granted planning permission for the new bridge which will go over the A39 at Carland Cross.

The bridge, which will not be open to vehicles, is designed to provide benefits for biodiversity as well as a public viewing platform.

However it did not get support from the local parish council which said it was concerned that the bridge will lead to a “dead end”.

The bridge, known as Habitat Connections, is part of a wider programme from Highways England – the A30 Keyn Glas scheme.

In a design and access statement submitted as part of the application it states:

“Careful consideration has been given to biodiversity; landscape and visual; historic environment; transport; design; and pollution and amenity in the evolution of the proposed development.

“The proposed development would connect existing linear habitat features to provide ecological connectivity between Carrick Heaths Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the currently isolated heathland area to the west of the A39.”

It adds: “The proposed development would also connect to an existing Public Right of Way (PRoW) adjacent to the A39 and include a viewing platform, to enable the public to enjoy long range views of Scheduled Monument barrows south of the A30. The proposed development therefore provides biodiversity, historic, public amenity and landscape benefits for the site and surrounding area, including sites of national ecological importance.”

The public viewing area would be access from public footpaths to the east of the new bridge and there would be no access to the west side of the bridge.

There would be a raised platform along with timber seating and signage which would include information about the history of the area and the landscape.

The statement explains that the A30 Keyn Glas scheme is made up of 17 different projects which are worth around £10million and will be delivered in phases until 2025.

a39 green bridge carland
Overhead illustration of the planned green bridge which would go over the A39 at Carland Cross

However St Erme Parish Council lodged an objection to the application stating:

“St Erme Parish Council objects to this application for the following reasons: The location of the proposed green bridge does not offer any benefit to the community or public in terms that it is a dead end and provides no additional cycle link services. We feel that this is a missed opportunity and any such new bridge should be linked to the village.”

The parish council suggests that it would be better to relocate the bridge so that it could link into cycle paths which connect to Truro.

It adds: “This would also open up a link to the historical areas of the village and across the A39 to the church at St Allen; and could still include the ecological aspect of the scheme through the natural hedgerows and wildlife of the green bridge. If this scheme goes ahead in its current location it could have a future effect on the viability of an additional safe crossing for the community in the future. This is a huge missed opportunity for such a scheme that could have a much bigger benefit to the community and surrounding areas.”

But planning officers have granted conditional approval to the plans stating:

“The bridge is proposed with the principal aim of maximising biodiversity and landscape benefits, offering the opportunity to reconnect existing hedgerows. The bridge is intended to be a “green” bridge, incorporating hedgerows spanning its length and would be covered with species rich grass, maximising the ecological value. There is no vehicular access over the bridge proposed, and pedestrian access is only indicated as available in part Page 11 of 17 to the centre point – offering a viewing area.”

They add: “In planning terms, there is sound justification for the provision of the bridge in the location suggested, given the primary aim of improving habitat connectivity and offering associated ecological benefits.”

In granting permission they state:

“On balance it is considered that the proposal is acceptable, subject to conditions. All other matters raised have been taken into account, including the planning history and the comments of the parish council, but none is of such significance as to outweigh the considerations that have led to the conclusion. It is noted that the parish council objected to the development, and maintained this objection following further discussions. The scheme was therefore discussed with the electoral divisional member who noted the parish objections, but agreed to a delegated decision.”

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