The statement issued by Eden District Council in June 2021.
The matter of Highways England looking to infill former railway bridges is a national issue, and not just specific to the Eden district.
In Eden there is one bridge affected by this, at Great Musgrave.
Highways England has the responsibility for the management and maintenance of the country’s historical railway estate, which includes over 3000 such bridges, tunnels and viaducts across the country.
Highways England is currently preparing to undertake works to infill the bridge at Great Musgrave.
In relation to whether these works require planning permission, it is important to note that Highways England do have permitted development rights to carry out certain works, without the need for the prior grant of planning permission. These rights would be covered in Part 9 and Part 19 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.
Eden District Council’s Planning Service has opened a dialogue with Highways England to understand the full extent, nature and reasoning for the proposed works at Great Musgrave, to ascertain whether the works do fall within Permitted Development Rights.
This is an ongoing matter and discussions have not yet concluded.
Once sufficient information has been provided by Highways England, the Planning Service will be able to judge whether these works do constitute a Permitted Development, or if they require the prior granting of planning permission. This information will inform what action, if any, can be taken in relation to these works.