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Clarence Mill footbridge
was completed in time for the Grand Opening on Saturday
29th August 2009!
notes and opening arrangements on construction page.
One of the conditions laid down by the Macclesfield Borough Council Planning Committee for the development of apartments on the top two floors of Clarence Mill was that there had to be a '106 agreement'. This requires the developer to provide funds to the local council which will be spent on local environmental enhancement.
In the case of Clarence mill the 106 agreement specified a sum of
about £30,000 to be used to provide a foot bridge across the
canal at the southern end of the mill. This money was paid to the
borough council who retained it pending construction of the bridge.
For the past many years, ever since planning permission
was granted for the apartments, negotiations have been continuing
with one party or another to bring about the construction of this
bridge. It has been a very long and sorry saga with many setbacks.
However, all of these problems are now behind us and the bridge is
built and open for use.
The picture shows the canal at Clarence Mill with the bridge in
place and in use immediately after being opened.
The bridge was opened on 29th
The total sum raised was about £150,000. The bridge actually
cost less than this, but money was also required for a maintenance
dowry - that's why it seems such a lot. Various grants were obtained
by the Civic Society thanks to the considerable efforts of Graham
Barrow. Significant contributions were made by both Macclesfield
Borough Council and Cheshire County Council - now amalgamated into
Cheshire East Council.
Why are the Civic Society involved?
In reality every local body is involved. The canal is owned by British
Waterways (BW). Cheshire East Council (CEC) and Bollington Town
Council (BTC) both have an interest one way or another. However,
none of these bodies are permitted to own such a structure. But there
has to be an owner so it was decided that Bollington Civic Society
should become the owner. This actually has benefits because we are
a registered charity and that gives us access to funding which is
not available to public authorities.
The bridge was designed under a contract let to CEC. Their
bridge architect, Noel James, recommended a standard structure spanning
16m across the canal at the point where the ground rises on both
sides. As well as steps, there are ramps on both sides enabling
full access for wheeled pedestrian equipment such as pushchairs and
wheelchairs. The bridge is constructed of steel mounted
on Kerridge stone faced plinths. The deck is slightly curved
reflecting the curve in the stone bridges over the canal.
The bridge spans both the water and the towpath so avoiding
any problems of obstruction of the towpath for mooring boats or for
the now rare horsedrawn boat.