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Approval expected for ‘Instagram-friendly’ signature bridge in Haverfordwest

The ‘instagram-friendly’ ‘signature bridge’ plans submitted as part of the Haverfordwest Footbridge and Western Quayside Phase 2 plans (Pic: Atkins Ltd)

PLANS for an ‘Instagram-friendly’ signature bridge, part of Haverfordwest’s levelling-up works, are expected to get the go-ahead next week.

An application by Pembrokeshire County Council to demolish the existing footbridge between Riverside and Western Quayside, replacing it with the new bridge is recommended for approval when it comes before the authority’s planning committee on October 3.

The scheme, in the county town’s conservation area, also includes public realm reconfiguration and enhancement; and repair, renewal and refurbishment of the former Cleddau Foundry building.

The application is part of the ‘Heart of Pembrokeshire’ regeneration project.

In 2020, Pembrokeshire County Council was awarded a Levelling Up Fund (LUF) grant for the Heart of Pembrokeshire: Rediscovering Haverfordwest Project.

The project includes the creation of a ‘signature bridge’ as the central feature of a ‘Cultural Corridor’.

The LUF application described this corridor as “a critical enabler of regeneration, broadening and amplifying the impact of investment in Haverfordwest Castle and other recent PCC investments”.

The ‘signature’ bridge is in addition to improvements at Haverfordwest Castle to create an outdoor performance area and renovation of the former jail.

A report for planners says: “The proposed ‘signature’ bridge would be a bold contemporary design and is deliberately intended to contrast with its surroundings.

“It would complement recent development at the locality with no significant effect on the historic environment albeit that is will present itself as a ‘landmark’ structure within the townscape.

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“The removal of the older modern steel bridge and its replacement would have a neutral to slightly positive impact on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area; high quality materials are proposed.  A condition to agree colours and materials is recommended.

“The public realm that is proposed would be a significant enhancement and the retention and refurbishment of the former foundry building, which is the only surviving structure associated with the former iron foundry established in the mid-18th century, would be of benefit.”

The design of the new bridge has previously been labelled an ‘Instagrammable’ bridge by Councillor Rhys Jordan.

He gave the bridge this moniker when raising questions about costs associated with it.

Responding, Deputy Leader of Council, and Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change, Councillor Paul Miller said the existing bridge would need replacing regardless of any regeneration works, adding the cost was made up of 90 per cent external grant funding.

He said he had never used the phrase ‘Instagramable,’ and was not on the service himself.