Historic Victorian footbridge set for 'extensive' refurbishment works
- Credit: Mick Howes
Extensive works look set to be carried out to a historic footbridge that was temporarily closed after safety concerns were raised.
Plans for a scheme of "repair and refurbishment works" to a designated listed structure in Lowestoft look set to be given the green light.
With a listed building consent application submitted to East Suffolk Council in December, centring around the "repair and refurbishment of existing pedestrian bridge", a new lease of life is earmarked for the 19th century Jubilee Bridge.
The popular footbridge, which runs from Belle Vue Park over The Ravine in Lowestoft, had been closed after safety concerns were raised during an inspection in December 2020.
Last October East Suffolk Council and Lowestoft Town Council confirmed they were working together to finalise a "programme of repairs" to the Victorian footbridge that was built in 1887 to celebrate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria.
Last month, East Suffolk's scrutiny committee reviewed the revised capital programme for the rest of 2021/22, as well as plans for the next four years.
Now, the listed building consent application is being recommended for approval by planning officers, with East Suffolk's planning committee north meeting at Riverside in Lowestoft next Tuesday, February 8 to vote on the plans.
With East Suffolk Council the applicant for the scheme, a planning report to councillors states: "Listed Building Consent is sought for the repair and refurbishment of the existing Jubilee Bridge, which crosses The Ravine, Lowestoft.
"The proposed comprehensive programme of works to repair and refurbish the existing Grade II Listed structure is in order to allow safe future usage to recommence upon completion."
- 1 Chance of a bargain as home goes under the hammer for £60,000
- 2 Artist's impression gives glimpse of how £14.7m Cultural Quarter could look
- 3 Retail park nuisance drivers cause misery with 'revving and noisy exhausts'
- 4 Teen warned jail sentence 'almost inevitable' for cocaine dealing
- 5 New hair salon opens up with its very own puppy on the premises
- 6 Lowestoft woman wanted by police on recall to prison
- 7 Two men in 20s arrested after serious Lowestoft assault
- 8 New lease of life for former Lowestoft town centre menswear store
- 9 Hospital opens £1.2m eye operation theatre to cut waiting times
- 10 'Blood rain' could fall this week as thunderstorms move in
The planning report says the proposed works are "not considered to adversely impact on the historical importance of the structure."
Among the extensive works is the "removal and replacement of the existing concrete deck of the bridge" and "some of the supporting steel bracing on the underside of the bridge, which has unfortunately corroded over time."
It adds: "The works proposed are quite extensive and look to refurbish the bridge to a safe and useable structure as well as bring it back up to a condition which is visually attractive and well maintained."
With the recommendation to councillors "that Listed Building Consent be granted subject to conditions" it concludes: "The proposed works would allow for the safe re-introduction of pedestrian use of the bridge, as well as safeguarding the future of the Listed Bridge.
"The works overall are necessary and will make this bridge useable again and restore its appearance."
With the architect William Chambers commissioned to design the iron bridge it was funded by William Youngman, the first elected mayor of the borough, with the south side bearing inscriptions referring to Queen Victoria's Jubilee.
It consists of a single-span, flat-deck steel footbridge spanning above The Ravine, the report says: "Jubilee Bridge was built in 1887 to celebrate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria, providing a pedestrian link from the then recently constructed and laid out public park, across The Ravine.
"The Jubilee Bridge was Listed in 1993."
The bridge sits within the North Lowestoft Conservation Area, with the Appraisal stating: "Without question, the most elaborate and impressive iron structure in the conservation
area is Jubilee Bridge over The Ravine.
"The bridge is an extremely important feature of the conservation area."