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Redrow Homes loses appeal to scrap £1m railway footbridge at Lymington Shores

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A DEVELOPER has lost its bid to escape an agreement to build a £1m pedestrian railway bridge linking the Lymington Shores development to the centre of town.

The crossing to the train station was agreed when Redrow Homes won permission in 2012 for 168 properties at the former Webbs chicken factory site off Bridge Road.

But progress on constructing it has stalled, and last year the company asked New Forest District Council for permission to alter a condition that would effectively drop the requirement.

The Lymington Shores development has proved controversial
The Lymington Shores development has proved controversial

NFDC refused, Redrow appealed – and now a government inspector has come down on the side of the council, saying the crossing is an "integral part" of the overall scheme.

As reported in the A&T, a condition stops Redrow selling the remaining 17 open market homes until the bridge has been delivered.

The company has also applied to turn the vacant art gallery and restaurant at the southern end of Lymington Shores into nine flats. NFDC is still considering those plans.

Lymington councillor Jacqui England said she was "ecstatic" about the result of the bridge appeal, but added: "A lot of money has been wasted making this case."

She said: "I am very happy that the footbridge will be delivered as a fundamental part of the development that was approved.

"It's supposed to be a continuation of the town and to integrate the development into Lymington."

The proposed rail bridge at Lymington Shores
The proposed rail bridge at Lymington Shores

The arguments were made during a public inquiry last year to which Redrow instructed a barrister to take on a team of planning and legal officers from NFDC.

Ian Sneddon, managing director at Redrow Southern Counties, said: “We are disappointed with the inspector’s recent decision and we are currently reviewing the findings to ensure our next steps provide the best possible outcome for all parties."

The ruling by the appeal inspector published this week said: "A major part of the development has been completed for a number of years.

"However, and whilst this was discussed at the hearing, I have not heard or seen any substantive evidence to justify convincingly why limited progress appears to have been made with regard to the implementation of the footbridge.

"The footbridge constitutes an integral part of what was originally applied for under the 2012 permission and the appellants therefore accepted a need for this part of the scheme, firstly by including it as part of the description of development and secondly in committing to its construction as part of the accompanying legal agreement, subject to the inclusion of a trigger restricting the occupation of a number of residential properties."

The A&T has asked NFDC for comment.

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