Nene Park Trust had developed plans for a new bridge as part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund-funded Nene Park: Your Community Greenspace project.
The project also included plans for enhancing the Lynch Lake Community Hub and improving the toilets and welcome area at Ferry Meadows.
Pontoon Bridge was first constructed in 1986 and was one the perk’s earliest bits of infrastructure but is now coming to the end of its serviceable life, according to the trust.
The trust has also said that, due to an increase in visitor numbers, that the bridge has become a bottleneck and the closures for maintenance has become more regular in recent years.
The opening mechanism, which allows the two halves of the bridge to open has long been fixed closed to minimise further movement, which could cause damage.
The existing bridge is made of timber, steel and concrete but the replacement is to be made of lacquered steel to make sure that it is long-lasting; metal has been chosen rather than wood given its proximity to water. It has also been designed to have a wider walkway to allow people to more easily pass each other.
In justifying the decision to replace the bridge, the trust said: “Although the floating quality of the current bridge is a beloved feature for many, others find this uncomfortable and disorientating to cross.
“The nature of floating pontoons also creates a maintenance issue with movement of other components of the bridge and the life of the pontoons themselves.
“We have considered other ways to keep an opening bridge, however the costs of this outweigh the benefits when other solutions are available.”
Plans have now been given the final approval after being amended slightly after the consultation phase.
Orton Longueville Parish Council did not formally object but raised a meterial observation that they were concerned that the bridge was not going to be replaced like for like.
A Peterborough City Council Wildlife Officer did however, recommend the plans for refusal given that not information had been provided.
He raised concerns about the impact of removing and reconstructing a bridge would have on the otters living in the area and requested that further impact studies were carried out.
These concerns have now been addressed to the point where planning officers felt they could approve the development. In publishing their decision, they stated: “The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in strict accordance with all of the recommendations for mitigation and compensation contained within the submitted documents ‘Otter Survey Report’ and ‘Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Report’ (Lockhart Garratt, 2021).
“Reason: To ensure no harm results to species of principal importance, or their habitat, in accordance with Policy LP28 of the Peterborough Local Plan (2019).”
To find out more about the plans, visit https://planpa.peterborough.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application and search using reference 21/00245/FUL.
To find out more about Nene Park’s project, visit: www.nenepark.org.uk/your-community-greenspace-capital-works.