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New design unveiled for bridge destroyed by Storm Desmond

Latest draft design image 1 Photo: Cumbria County Council

The latest design for the new Pooley Bridge has been unveiled at a public meeting in the village last night.

Developers, Knight Architects, and members of Cumbria County Council explained how they came to a final design and how the project would move forward.

The original bridge collapsed during Storm Desmond in December 2015 and a temporary one opened in March last year.

The new draft design attempts to reflect feedback from a recent public meeting on three different bridge designs.

Latest draft design image 2 Credit: Cumbria County Council

Many residents held varying strong views over the designs, so the architect's focused on common themes to work on.

These included light and transparency, blending in with the area, elegance, flood resilience, balance between modern and traditional, and open views.

The new draft design sits lower than previous ideas, but maintains the increase height above the river.

Latest draft design image 3 Credit: Cumbria County Council

The Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Fleet said:

This is a such a high profile project and getting the right design was always going to be a challenge – it has to meet people’s aspirations for how it should look, as well as accommodating all the various constraints, not least the requirement for flood resilience.

Given the passionate views I’ve no doubt this new design will prompt debate, but for me it’s an elegant and practical design that could work well.”

– Cllr Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Fleet
Stone saved from the original bridge is to be used wherever possible Credit: Cumbria County Council

The new draft will now be subject to further changes based on feedback from the local community.

It is expected that it will take around 38 weeks for the bridge to be constructed.

During this time there will be no bridge across the river.

Councillor Keith Little added:

This is a major piece of civil engineering that’s intended to last. The reality is you can’t build something like this in a few weeks.

We will be doing all that we can to reduce the construction time, but inevitably there will be a prolonged period when there is no river crossing.

We know the impact this could have and we’ll be working hard to ensure there is signage and promotion to support the village’s ‘open for business’ message once construction starts.”

– Cllr Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Fleet