River Trent: The planning application includes the main bridge, ramps (including a crossing for cyclists and pedestrians across the entrance to the Trent Basin), steps, demolition of a former industrial building, haul routes, alterations / improvements to the existing adopted highway networks and landscaping.
The proposed scheme crosses two Local Authority administrative boundaries – Nottingham City Council (NCC) on the north and Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) on the south side. NCC are the lead delivery authority for the scheme and are responsible for securing the capital funding and assembling the land agreements necessary to build the scheme.
New Bridge Construction in Nottingham: A planning application has been submitted for a new bridge over the River Trent, connecting Lady Bay to the city center. This includes the main bridge, access ramps, demolition of an old industrial building, and landscaping. The bridge aims to improve connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians.
Cross-Jurisdictional Coordination: The project spans two local authorities – Nottingham City Council (NCC) on the north and Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) on the south. NCC leads the project, responsible for funding and land agreements. The planning process involves coordination between multiple local authorities and regulatory bodies.
Navigation and Environmental Considerations: The bridge must comply with statutory obligations for navigation on the tidal River Trent, requiring approval from the Canals and Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency. The project aligns with ecological and navigational safety standards, integrating community feedback.
Historical and Economic Significance: The bridge, funded by the Transforming Cities Fund, will be the first in over 60 years over the Trent in Nottingham. It’s part of a broader initiative to enhance urban mobility and sustainability, promising to ease traffic, boost the economy, and integrate with the local landscape.
- Construction and Impact: The project involves innovative construction techniques, focusing on safety, minimal disruption, and long-term maintenance. It’s expected to invigorate local communities and encourage greener lifestyles. The construction will temporarily use land from nearby developments, coordinating with local sports clubs and authorities for access and land use.
On the north side of the river, NCC are the Local Highway Authority (LHA) and Local Planning Authority (LPA) as a unitary authority. On the south side of the river, as a two-tiered authority, Nottinghamshire County Council (NoCC) are the LHA and RBC and the LPA (see Figure 2).
As the scheme crosses two administrative boundaries, identical planning applications are being submitted to both LPA’s and a joint validation checklist has been prepared by authorities to support the application process.
As a tidal river, the Trent is subject to public rights of navigation. The City Council do not have automatic authority to build a bridge over a navigable river and are required to follow a statutory process to obtain this authority under Section 106 (3) of the Highways Act 1980, which is being progressed alongside the planning application.
The Canals and Rivers Trust (CRT) are the Navigation Authority for this stretch of the River Trent and the City Council will need to obtain approval from the CRT before commencing the main construction works on site.
The City Council have been engaging with the CRT since the schemes inception to ensure the scheme is developed in accordance with their statutory obligations to maintain minimum headroom and draft requirements and to support the approval process. Other permits will be required from the Environment Agency (EA) to construct the scheme and the project team are in discussions with the EA.
The Trent Lane Depot commenced construction in 1928 in order to develop a substantial cargo handling facility that specifically linked Nottingham to Hull and thereby onwards to wider world trade routes. In 1933 following the completion of the works which included the river and basin walls, two large warehouses (now demolished) dominated the scene along with other smaller ancillary buildings and various mobile cranes. At its peak in the 1960’s the depot handled over 1 million tonnes of goods a year which subsequently declined, in part due to a transfer to road and rail.
Nottingham City Council (NCC), in a joint bid with Derby City Council, was successful in securing £161m of funding to deliver a programme of transport improvements aligned with the TCF objectives and designed to strengthen connections between major employment sites, upgrade public transport and improve options for people on bike or foot.
Included on this programme was a project to design and build a new cycle and pedestrian bridge over the River Trent in the vicinity of the Waterside area.
This will be the first bridge to be built over the River Trent in Nottingham for over 60 years and will create new leisure routes offering a huge boost for cyclists, pedestrians and runners alike.
By enhancing connections between communities, green spaces and the riverside path, the proposed scheme will make it easier for people living, working and visiting this area to travel in a more sustainable way, say planners.
Funded by the Transforming Cities Fund, the initiative aims to significantly boost connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians, bridging the Waterside area with Lady Bay.
The bridge’s design is in line with modern engineering. Envisioned as a network arch bridge, it promises to be a landmark, matching functionality with an artistic reflection of Nottingham’s rich heritage.
Aligning with Nottingham’s strategic vision, the bridge is a step towards sustainable urban mobility. It supports eco-friendly transport options and plays a role in the pursuit of carbon neutrality, while improving community mobility.
Environmental stewardship and community integration are at the heart of this project. The bridge’s construction plan meticulously addresses ecological impacts, navigational safety, and incorporates feedback from local residents, aiming to enhance the natural surroundings.
The bridge’s construction will showcase innovative techniques, tackling unique challenges while prioritizing safety and accessibility. Detailed planning ensures minimal disruption during construction, with a focus on long-term durability and ease of maintenance.
It’s expected to ease commuter traffic, invigorate the local economy, and enhance recreational spaces, ultimately knitting the community closer together and fostering a greener lifestyle.
The land on the north side of the river forms part of Blueprint’s ‘Trent Basin’ development site, which will deliver approximately 350 houses and apartments across a number of phases. As shown in Figure 5 below, the bridge will land on the head of the disused Trent Basin, which is centrally located within Blueprint’s development site.
The land directly to the east of the basin has already been developed and is occupied (ref: 13/03029/PFUL3). On the west side, Blueprint have previously demolished warehouse buildings resulting in the derelict land that can be seen today. In 2022, Blueprint submitted a hybrid planning application comprising of a full application for 111 residential dwellings and an outline application (with all matters reserved) for the principle of residential development, up to 280 sqm of cafe / food & drink floorspace (Use Class E) and a Community Transport Hub (ref: 21/02550/POUT).
To construct the proposed scheme, a portion of the Blueprint owned land on the west side of the basin will be temporarily occupied by the City Council’s contractors to form a compound area, and therefore it is anticipated that work on the masterplan proposals will not commence until substantial completion of the bridge (subject to both schemes securing planning). The compound and haul route accesses are included in the red line boundary (see Appendix B and section 11.5).
On the south side of the river, the proposed scheme will connect to the existing riverside path, which was adopted as highway in 1991 and is managed and maintained by Nottinghamshire County Council as the LHA.
The south side landing, abutments and a proportion of the ramps will fall within the Environment Agency owned embankment land which forms a vegetative bank between the riverside path and the river. The City Council are currently in the process of acquiring part of this title to build and maintain the scheme.
Directly adjacent to the proposed scheme is land owned by Nottinghamshire Sports Properties Limited, which is used as sports fields by a number of organisations making up the Nottinghamshire Sports Club (NSC) including Nottingham Rugby and Nottinghamshire County Cricket. Part of this site is proposed to be utilised as a haul route and is included in the red line boundary. Discussions are ongoing with the Sports Club to secure access permissions for the construction works.
Immediately to the east of the Nottinghamshire Sports Club is a football training pitch owned by Nottingham Forest FC and leased to Notts County FC, which lies outside of the red line boundary. To the south of this lies publicly accessible land owned and maintained by Rushcliffe Borough Council and includes a play park, skate park and associated car park. Part of this site will be used as a construction compound by the principal contractor during the construction of the south side bridge abutments.