Bridge improvement works condition not enforceable

A condition attached to the permission for a waste site in Essex which required improvement works to a bridge on the approach road was deleted, an inspector finding that it was neither necessary nor enforceable.

The bridge was over a main road about 0.5km from a motorway junction. It was regularly used by lorries and utility vehicles associated with the materials storage, recycling and distribution facility which had been granted retrospective permission and was a short distance from the bridge. It was also used by pedestrians and horse riders following a long bridle path. The bridge had been constructed of steel and concrete at about the same time as the motorway junction and had 2m high metallic mesh parapets on either side.

The condition required improvement works to the bridge parapet and had been imposed in order to secure highway safety and access to the countryside. The appellant pointed out, however, that it was not clear who owned the bridge or who was responsible for its maintenance.

The inspector found it unclear why any improvements might be thought necessary or desirable. He also found it unclear what they might entail, not merely in terms of physical works, but also in terms of possible road closures and temporary traffic diversions. The inspector was not persuaded that the condition was necessary or could have been complied with, he concluded.

Inspector: Paul Dobsen; Written representations

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