Some common land in Pelsall could disappear as part of plans to build a new bridge linking the village with Norton Canes.
Councillors are to be asked to approve local consultations over the de-registering 0.23ha of common land on North Common that will eventually allow plans to go ahead for a new bridge.
Instead, Moat Farm Pool (0.22ha), at the junction of Norton Road and Lichfield Road, could be re-designated as common land as part of an exchange deal.
The report by planners said because of strong local opinion to keep the existing York’s Bridge in Norton Road, which links Pelsall with Norton Canes, a revised design for the new bridge will “necessitate the use of a slightly larger section of Pelsall North Common”. Under the revised plans, York’s Bridge would be saved and vehicular access restricted.
Planners insist that the protected land needed for the construction work is less than 0.01% of the total area of North Common.
Approval will ultimately have to be given by the Planning Inspectorate.
The consultation proposal is to be put to Cabinet members on Wednesday (January 23). If they agree, local people’s opinions on the permanent de-registering of a small section of common land – and the temporary de-registering of additional land so that construction work can take place – could begin as early as next month and last between nine and ten weeks.
Feedback will inform the final design and enable the appropriate planning permission to be sought.
“The original design was to build a new bridge on the same alignment as the present structure; this would have entailed the demolition of the existing bridge,” says the report.
“However, local feedback has been clear: there is a strong desire to retain the historic character of the existing bridge.
“This will now be accommodated through a revised design to build a new bridge alongside the existing bridge, allowing it to be retained and used primarily for pedestrian leisure purposes with vehicular access to nearby premises.”
A new bridge is needed to maintain accessibility and improve road safety, say planners. Although York’s Bridge has a 10 tonne weight restriction, there is poor vertical and horizontal alignment and there are no footpaths, which puts pedestrians and cyclists at risk. Further deterioration is also likely.
“The ultimate delivery of a replacement bridge will ensure that strategic and local accessibility is maintained, existing road safety issues are addressed and ensure any replacement bridge would be in keeping the with existing environment,” say planners.