Replacement footbridge near Abercynon granted planning consent

Replacement footbridge near Abercynon granted planning consent

Planning permission has been granted to replace the damaged Feeder Pipe Footbridge located between Abercynon and Quakers Yard – with an upgraded structure designed to be wider and also more resilient to future storm events.

On Thursday, April 25, members of the Council’s Planning and Development Committee agreed with officer recommendations to approve the application – which covers the bridge replacement and all associated temporary work. The bridge deck and parapets were previously removed after significant damage was sustained during the unprecedented weather of Storm Dennis in 2020.

The footbridge spans the River Taff between Alexandra Place in Abercynon and Tram Road in Quakers Yard, and the scheme to replace the structure will be led by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council. As a result of the footbridge’s location on the county borough boundary, an identical planning application was considered by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council on April 25 – and this was also approved.

The new 38-metre long footbridge will retain two original bridge pipes, with parapet trusses installed in place of a central pipe – that will be removed. The bridge deck will sit above the trusses, and will be 2.2-metres wide (compared to the 1.5-metre width of the original bridge). The deck will be constructed with steel as opposed to the original timber deck, while the existing abutments and piers will undergo maintenance work, such as repointing and vegetation clearance.

The new bridge has been designed to provide greater resistance to the build-up and impact of river debris, while having greater hydraulic loading than the original bridge. It is therefore intended to be more resilient in storm events.

In recommending the application for approval, a report to the Planning and Development Committee noted that the development has many advantages. It will remove a damaged structure, reinstate the footpath, and provide a better and wider facility for the community that adheres to current design standards. It will also require less maintenance than the original bridge, while it can be delivered without an adverse impact on the area’s appearance or ecology.

Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Investment, said: “I’m pleased that the Council has secured full planning permission to replace the Feeder Pipe Footbridge – a key milestone for the scheme to progress this financial year. The new bridge will reinstate the link that connects the communities of Abercynon and Quakers Yard, create a wider footway for pedestrians crossing the river, and provide a structure that is more resilient in future storm events.

Following Storm Dennis in 2020, the Council made a commitment to repair and reinstate key infrastructure that was damaged across the County Borough – making it clear that this effort would tackle a number of complex projects over several years. Feeder Pipe Footbridge is one of the final major projects to be progressed, with financial support in place from the Taxpayers through the Welsh Government as part of its Taxpayers funded £3.61m programme of Storm Dennis repairs for 2024/25.

“The Council will be leading on this scheme, and with the footbridge located on the county borough boundary, officers will continue to work closely with Merthyr Tydfil Council as it progresses towards the construction phase. We’ll communicate with local residents in due course – when the arrangements are finalised – however, the main work is anticipated to cause minimal disruption locally due to the bridge’s location away from residential properties.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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