Planners were forced to rethink their ideas on how to replace the popular Seatown footbridge over the burn of Cullen after people living in the area branded an original scheme as dangerous.
The local authority had planned to demolish the existing bridge and replace it with a new one 65feet further upstream – that, however, was rejected when it was felt that the location could see the bridge being washed away in high tides.
Now Moray Council’s consultation manager Dave Gowans has said that a new planning application had been lodged with ground works set to begin by the end of this year on a new bridge just 16feet away from the existing structure.
The existing bridge is a listed structure that dates from 1830, although a bridge is thought to have existed on the site since 1560. It provides the only safe crossing point for pedestrians from Seatown to the local golf course and forms part of the core path of the Moray Coast Trail.
On Tuesday councillors approved a new plan for replacing the bridge – although one local councillor said that the safety concerns raised over the previous plan were “largely unfounded”. Councillor Ron Shepherd said that the new structure had been repositioned in a way that would not interfere with residential sewage tanks.
He said: “It has been sited alongside the current bridge because in its initial location we would have needed to lift septic tanks to begin construction.”
Councillor Shepherd described the bridge as the “busiest wee bridge in Moray” but added that it had become a hazard to children and was crumbling away at the sides.
It is expected that work on the new bridge will be completed early next year.