Posted: Sat 10th Feb 2024

Repair works on Pontypridd’s Berw Road Bridge approved following Storm Dennis damage /

The latest phase of repair works to a Pontypridd bridge damaged by Storm Dennis have been given the go-ahead.
A council application for phase three of works to Berw Road Bridge, known locally as the White Bridge, went before Rhondda Cynon Taf’s planning committee on Thursday, February 8, and got planning permission.
Listed building consent is being applied for in relation to a further programme of maintenance and repair to the structure and the associated infrastructure elements of the bridge.
The works follow previous applications for works to the bridge with the need for these exacerbated by the damage caused to the bridge during Storms Dennis and Ciara in February 2020.
Due to initial concerns from local residents the scheme was changed in terms of the drainage to avoid any works to trees.
Residents were concerned that previous works included clearance works that had removed mature trees and were concerned that further
mature trees would be lost.
The planning report said the applicant has confirmed the current proposed works to the bridge would not involve the loss of any further trees and that it is likely that the normal loss of dead and dying trees within the immediate area are the source of these concerns and are erroneously being associated with this application.
The works will include repairs to the abutments, masonry repairs to the wing walls, waterproofing and resurfacing of the bridge deck, the renewal and improvement of the underground drainage, renewal of lighting columns, and the stabilsation of the south-east embankment.
In summarising the works, the agent for the application said: “Recent works (including phase two) have mitigated the immediate risks to the structure’s
integrity and repaired the bridge such that it can be re-opened and remain functional.
“However additional works are proposed to maintain and restore the structure to reduce ongoing deterioration and further prolong its life and heritage.
“The proposals principally aim to protect the structure and mitigate deterioration whilst resulting in minimal impact on the evidential and aesthetic values of the historic asset. As such the predicted benefit decisively outweighs the harm to the value of the asset.”
In recommending approval subject to a favourable referral to Cadw planning officers said in their report: “The proposed works would further continue an informed programme of maintenance and repair works on this important listed structure and vital piece of transportation infrastructure.
“The works would provide ongoing maintenance and repairs to improve and increase the longevity of the structure and secure its future.
“The works are well-justified in the accompanying heritage impact statement
which provides a compelling justification for the programme of maintenance,
repair, and replacement works to the bridge.
“It is considered that the works would be as physically minimal and visually
unobtrusive as possible while as valuable to the future conservation of this
important heritage asset.
“Additionally, due to the changes that have been made following feedback from the public, the works would have a minimal impact on existing trees within the vicinity of the bridge works.
“Consequently it is considered that the proposed works would be acceptable.”
Councillor Mike Powell raised some concern with the width of the pavements on the bridge and asked if any improvements could be made to the surface or footways.
But a council planning officer said that because of things such as drainage underneath the footpath they can’t be repaired or altered.
The planning permission came with two extra conditions including one around ecology and bird and bat boxes and councillor Danny Grehan also highlighted the importance of trees to the community. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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