Open Spaces

Footbridge over River Eden removed for safety

Site of the former bridge by the retention dam

At the beginning of May the footbridge over the River Eden near Church Street was removed. Its condition had deteriorated to the point where major works would be required to keep it safe for users.

There is an alternative bridge approximately 100m along the river closer to the High Street, which carries the Public Right of Way footpath SR612 across the River Eden to and from Church Street.

The Council’s Open Spaces Committee considered the options over several meetings, including replacement, repair, and removal. Due to a number of factors, councillors decided to remove the bridge, and there is currently no plan to reinstate it.

The following information provides a summary of the decision process:

  • The condition of the bridge, along with the abutments to the dam, had deteriorated to the point where major works were required
  • An independent survey had been commissioned to ascertain the extent of wear and tear, and potential options
  • Having obtained quotes, which included professional assessments, it was clear that to repair the abutments (which would need to be done before any bridge works) the costs would potentially be in excess of £60,000
  • However, as the costs escalated, Members took the decision to make the area safe and commission for the removal of the bridge at the cost of £6,000
  • At this current time, there is no plan to reinstate the bridge
  • A new bridge would have to be of a design that would meet modern regulations
  • The responsibility for the bridge and abutments maintenance sits with the Town Council. But land surrounding the river where the dam is, has different ownerships including Sevenoaks District Council and a private landowner
  • There is an alternative bridge with a Public Right of Way footpath close by