Expert witness report helps preserve heritage bridge

January 2022
The community at Barcombe, East Sussex, received welcome news for Christmas: their historic road bridge, which had been scheduled for infilling by National Highways, is no longer at risk. Whitby Wood provided support for the local campaign in the form of expert advice on the condition of the structure.

The Church Road Bridge, over the former Lewes-East Grinstead railway line (1882), was one of a long list of heritage masonry structures slated for demolition or infilling by National Highways. The bridge is part of the infrastructure for the line, designed under instructions from Frederick Dale Banister (1823-97), best known as chief engineer of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway.

Church Road Bridge, Barcombe

Our engineers inspected the bridge, and working with masonry arch specialist Bill Harvey, first professor of civil engineering at Exeter University, provided a report to the local campaign group’s lawyer, Richard Buxton. The report supported Lewes District Council, which, together with the community, planning authority and local MP Maria Caulfield, successfully objected to the National Highways proposals.

Whitby Wood director Mark Whitby, who worked on the report and is an experienced campaigner in support of heritage structures, welcomed news of the reprieve. “As engineers, we are passionate about our heritage and, wherever possible, keen to defend its retention and continuing use.”

our team : Mark Whitby, Chris Bell, Oliver Diamond

PHOTO : Barcombe campaign group, courtesy Historic Railways Estate

  news index