Saturday, 12 May 2007

Furore over proposed bridge at Boscastle

Following the flood in August 2004 that devastated much of Boscastle and Crackington Haven on the North Cornish coast the conclusion was reached that the little bridge in the harbour area at Boscastle would have to be replaced. This is because the existing structure is not big enough to cope with this sort of weather event, something with a larger opening is required. There were thoughts of replacing the existing bridge with a similarly styled one in stone but it was considered that the new one would be too dominant (I agree). The alternative suggested is a lighter looking steel structure which I think from the pictures I've seen would be an elegant addition.

However the majority of locals don't seem to agree with this viewpoint! I think that there are a few occasions when you can't hang on to the past by building something which pretends to come from another era. A modern bridge here would act as a reminder of the rebuilding after the flood. On this subject one only has to look at the rebuilding of the little shop with the very wavy roof line in the harbour area (a former pig house I believe!). This may be good for the tourists but is make believe really - for instance building regs mean it is noticeably higher than before; it may have used much of the old materials but it is not the same building and I believe it is wrong to pretend it is. In other words I wouldn't have rebuilt it. Harsh words I know but I believe in honesty in the built environment.

1 comment:

brian in the tamar valley said...

Following concerns of many Boscastle residents and handing in a petition the proposals for the new bridge have been abandoned and the designers are going back to the drawing board to produce a new scheme. I think they will be hard pressed to find an alternative that will be accepted by the locals whilst meeting the requirements of the Dept of the Environment. We shall see in the fullness of time no doubt.