VILLAGE residents are being invited to have their say on plans to replace a 200-year-old bridge.

Plans propose replacing the existing bridge in Finchingfield, which is "weak and deteriorating", with a new bridge and temporary crossing for traffic during construction.

The consultation on Essex Highways’ plans to replace the bridge in the village is now available to view and residents can submit their views from today, Thursday, January 19.

Following some initial proposals shared by Essex Highways in 2016, new design options were explored in discussion with Finchingfield Parish Council, district councillors and county members.  

The parish council and district and county councillors agreed Essex Highways should start the necessary site investigations for a replacement bridge to be built.

The bridge would be built in the same place as the existing one and where possible, Essex Highways will retain the same look and feel, to avoid impacting the look of the picturesque village.

It is proposed the current width between the bridge walls will be maintained between new kerbs and a narrow hardened verge to protect the bridge parapets.

These proposals will lead to a bridge that will be up to 1.5 metres wider overall, but maintaining the same road width, so the bridge continues to act as a traffic-calming feature.

County council highways boss Lee Scott said: “I understand the bridge in Finchingfield takes pride of place in the centre of the village, but its weak and deteriorating state means it is imperative it is replaced.

“I would encourage members of the public to take this opportunity to review the plans and share their views with us.”

Further information on the project can be viewed HERE.

The planning application can also be found in accessible form HERE.