Bridge protection bid given the green light

Westnewton Bridge, near Kirknewton.
Westnewton Bridge, near Kirknewton.

Works to a Grade II-listed bridge, which are required to ensure the foundations are protected during flooding, have been given the go-ahead.

At last Tuesday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee, members unanimously approved the work to Westnewton Bridge, near Kirknewton.

The structure carries the B6351 over the College Burn and the road is an arterial link through the Glen Valley from Akeld to the communities of Mindrum, Yeholm and Kelso.

Councillors heard that following a flood event in 2012, motorists had to endure a 21km diversion while the emergency repairs took place.

The plan is ‘to provide permanent scour protection and construct soft engineering works to minimise the potential for deposition of sand and gravel around the bridge’.

The planning officer’s report explained that this would ‘ensure that this essential highway link is safeguarded for the benefit of the Glen Valley residents and those using the road for longer journeys.

‘Furthermore, the proposals will protect the valuable heritage asset of Westnewton Bridge, a structure that if damaged beyond repair could not be rebuilt to a similar standard.’

There were no objections to the proposals for the bridge, which is partly within the boundary of Northumberland National Park, but Kirknewton Parish Council called on all agencies concerned to be in full agreement and for the work to be carried out this summer. This latter plea was backed by Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan.