Moray Council’s Planning and Regulatory Services Committee has approved the formal planning application for the new £1.8m Lossiemouth East Beach bridge.
The bridge will be sited where the Esplanade side seawall currently protrudes toward the River Lossie and is where the original bridge is believed to have been situated prior to the 1919 construction of the familiar, now closed, wooden bridge.
Speaking of the approval, subject to a number of conditions, Chair of the Planning and Regulatory Services Committee, Cllr David Bremner, said: “It feels like this has been a long time coming but there are set processes we must follow to allow planning approval and I’m delighted for the Lossiemouth community that we’ve reached this milestone.
“The next stage is for the contractor, Beaver Bridges, to finalise and submit the technical information, drawings and permits required for the associated construction work. At this point everything is still on schedule for the bridge to be operational by spring 2022 and I look forward to seeing it progress over winter.”
The new bridge span is approximately 75m in length in an arched form. A 3.5m wide footway with decking boards made of wood effect composite materials join 1.4m high parapets.
Bollards to prevent vehicular access will be placed at the end of the bridge. Steelwork for the bridge will be finished in fluoropolymer coating and will sit atop pile driven columns and connect into ramps built either side. Rock armour surrounds the entry points to the bridge. New footpaths will be installed to access the bridge and existing ones on the Esplanade side upgraded.
The new bridge is being funded by the Scottish Government and will be maintained by Moray Council following agreement earlier this year.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “I know this will be welcome news in Lossiemouth for local people wishing to access the East beach and it is vital news for local businesses who have seen a downturn in trade since access to the bridge was closed.
“The old bridge was well used by local people and visitors alike to access the iconic beach and has been very much missed. It is part of the town’s fabric and a vital part of its offering to tourists.
“I’m delighted for the town and campaigners who have fought to get to this stage and very much look forward to seeing the bridge open and providing access to the thousands who will use it each year.”