13:31 Thursday 24 January 2013

Residents to object over 'enormous' bridge plans


A NEW footbridge which could be built over a railway has been slammed as a ‘monstrosity’ by nearby residents.

Zena Bromfield, of Bramell Close, whose home will neighbour the new structure said it will be ‘absolutely enormous’ and will object to the plans submitted by Network Rail to East Staffordshire Borough Council.

The proposals were submitted after the rail company was forced to demolish its previous footbridge it put up without permission, with retrospective plans later refused by the council.

Mrs Bromfield said: “It will be absolutely enormous. Before they took out the bridge, we had Network Rail down here to discuss where (the new one) will go, and suggested it will go to the right hand side of the fence to the right of our house, but quite far away. I said people aren’t going to walk miles down the path to go over a bridge.

“Now the plans say the bridge will be close to the fence, and that means when people are going over the bridge, they will be looking into our gardens. It won’t be private when you are outside.

“It is a monstrosity.”

Network Rail has submitted two alternative planning applications for the same site as it seeks to reduce the risk of what it claims is misuse at the Warren Lane level crossing in Branston.

One is a bridge with ramps and stairs, the other option is a stepped footbridge with additional work to the existing road bridge at Burton Road.

Mrs Bromfield added: “The crossing is now all closed off and it is nice and quiet

“People still have a problem of walking on the footpath in Branston Road but all they need to do is widen that and problem solved.”

It ranked the level crossing as amongst the worst on the East Midlands route for misuse and it was closed in August last year.

In its planning statement, Network Rail said: “It is accepted that the structure will be significant in terms of its massing and appearance; by necessity it must be set at least five metres above ground level, and the ramp requirements lead to a substantial element of steelwork in excess of 50 metres in length. However it does provide full accessibility for users.”

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