Council disputes 'permitted works' claim

09/06/2021
Chris Ames

A local authority has thrown doubt over Highways England’s controversial plans to infill a road bridge over a former railway line without planning permission.

Eden Valley District Council in Cumbria said that Highways England had refused its request to stop the works on the bridge at Great Musgrave near Warcop.

This is despite assertions from the government-owned company that it ‘paused infilling and demolition works where local authorities have raised queries’.

In a statement, the council acknowledged that Highways England has permitted development rights to carry out certain works without the need for the prior grant of planning permission. 

However, it added that its Planning Service has opened a dialogue with the company ‘to understand the full extent, nature and reasoning for the proposed works at Great Musgrave, to ascertain whether the works do fall within permitted development rights’.

‘This is an ongoing matter and discussions have not yet concluded. Once sufficient information has been provided by Highways England, the Planning Service will be able to judge whether these works do constitute a Permitted Development, or if they require the prior granting of planning permission,’ the council said.

David Wheatley, Highways England’s head of scheme delivery for the HRE, said: ‘As part of our stewardship of the Historical Railway Estate, we determined the Musgrave Lane bridge - which carries the B6259 over the old railway line - needed strengthening to safeguard the road’s absolutely vital role in connecting local communities like Warcop and Great Musgrave.

‘We have complied with any planning requirements and have consulted widely – including with Eden Valley District Council, Sustrans and the Eden Valley Railway Company – on our plans to strengthen the bridge with an infilling scheme which we aim to complete this financial year.’

The HRE Group, which campaigns against the infilling and demolition of parts of the Historical Railway Estate (HRE), said Highways England ‘has contrived an alternative reality to drive through the scheme’.

The group has also disputed Highways England’s assertion that the work is necessary, arguing that according to Highways England’s own inspection reports, the bridge is in ‘fair’ condition, shows no signs of being overloaded and has no significant defects.

It added that although the structure was assessed in 1998 as having a capacity of 17 tonnes, vehicles over 18 tonnes are unable to make journeys via the bridge because of an existing weight limit nearby.

Highways approached Highways England for further comment on its assertion that it is necessary to strengthen the bridge.

Campaigners have said the route under the bridge is needed for a connection between the Eden Valley and Stainmore railways, ‘whose longstanding ambition is to unite their operations and establish an 11-mile heritage line’.

Although Highways England has stated that the infilling is reversible, the HRE Group argued that if it is completed, the blockage will be too difficult and costly to remove.

The group has disputed Highways England’s statement that it has consulted with the Eden Valley Railway Company and local press reports suggest that both railway companies opposed the work.

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

 

ALSO INSIDE:

  • Exclusive: Smart Motorways
  • Are you AI protected?
  • Traffex Parkex Evex Cold Comfort
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Traffic Management Officer – Technical Specialist x2

£44,428 - £47,240
The City has ambitious plans to deliver an improved sustainable transport infrastructure Bristol
Recruiter: Bristol City Council

Assistant Service Manager

£30,054 - £31,963
We are looking for a highly motivated Assistant Service Manager to join our County Transport team County Transport, Brimington Workshop, Chesterfield
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Principal Engineer - Highways Development Management

£48,378 - £51,571
We are looking for an experienced and talented professional to join West Northampton Council as our Highways Development Principal Engineer. One Angel Square, Northampton
Recruiter: West Northamptonshire Council

Principal Engineer - Highways Development Management

£48,378 - £51,571
You will play a lead role on all major highway development proposals across West Northampton. One Angel Square, Northampton
Recruiter: West Northamptonshire Council

Service Manager - Highways (Asset and Traffic)

£48,474 to £51,515
A vacancy has become available for a Service Manager to join and manage our successful Highways Assets and Traffic team. Torbay, Devon
Recruiter: SWISCo

Head of Highway Operations

Grade 15 £59,559 - £65,327
At Derbyshire, we have been on a journey to transform the way we deliver highway services Derbyshire
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Highway Inspector Manager

£42,403 - £46,464
You will be working closely with the Highway Inspections Operations Manager Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Staffordshire County Council

DSO Compliance Officer (Health and Safety)

Salary From £41,043

Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Highway Inspector

£31,364 - £35,745
Our Highway Inspection team ensures that we comply with our duty to maintain the highway Staffordshire
Recruiter: Staffordshire County Council

Highway Network Officer WMF1060e

£35,745 - £36,648
Westmorland and Furness Council, Highways and Transport service is looking for an experienced, motivated, and friendly individual. Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Head of Commissioning Management

Grade 15 £59,559 - £65,327
At Derbyshire, we have been on a journey to transform the way we deliver highway services Derbyshire
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Light Vehicle Mechanic

Grade 8 £27,507 - £29,418 per annum
We are looking for a highly motivated Light Vehicle Mechanic to join our County Transport team Derbyshire
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Traffic Management Officer - WMF1092e

£35,745 - £36,648
This is a role for Traffic Management Officer to be based in the Eden area. Penrith, Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Traffic Management Technician - WMF1090e

£26,421 - £27,334
This is a role for Traffic Management Technician to be based in the Eden area. Penrith, Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Multi Skilled Operatrive x4

£22,737.00 - £29,269.00, Career grade 3-6, 37 hours, Permanent
We are seeking enthusiastic and capable colleagues to join our Highway Operations team that forms part of the Highway Network Management. Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Wakefield Council

Supervising Technician

£33,024.00 - £35,745.00, Grade 8, 37 hours, Permanent
The purpose of this role is to support the Workshop Manager you will be required to work closely with other Supervising Technicians. Newton Bar Depot, Central Vehicle Workshops, Newton Bar, Wakefield WF1 2TU
Recruiter: Wakefield Council

Heavy Vehicle/Plant Apprenticeship

Age dependent (Under 18 yrs - £12,347, 18-20 yrs - £16,591, 21+yrs - £22,071)
The programme can start to build your career, or help you to re-train, becoming a valued, recognised and rewarded team member. Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Wakefield Council

Senior Engineer - Highways and Drainage

£40,221 - £44,428 + 12% Attraction + Retention Payment equating to actual pay £45,047 - 49,759
This is an exciting opportunity to join us as a Senior Engineer. Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Traffic Management Technician - WMF1090e

Salary £26,421 - £27.334
This is a role for Traffic Management Technician to be based in the Eden area. Penrith, Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Assistant Arboricultural Consultant

£26100 - £30706 per annum + + 26 Days Leave & Defined Benefit Pension
Assistant Arboricultural ConsultantPermanent, Full TimeUp to £30,706 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Highways Presents

 


Latest Video