Wiltshire Council has received a planning application that proposes repair work and a temporary overbridge structure at the canal bridge on Whaddon Lane, to the north of Hilperton.

According to the application, this work is necessary for the construction of Whaddon Farm Solar Park.

Permission was granted for this solar park in April 2022 and will see major development on 37ha of agricultural fields west of Whaddon Farm.

The applicant commissioned an investigation of the nearby canal bridge to assess whether it was capable of withstanding vehicles up to the imposed weight limit and the increased construction traffic travelling to the site.

Wiltshire Times: The bridge is in urgent need of repair.The bridge is in urgent need of repair. (Image: Wiltshire Council)
The application says that significant faults were identified on the bridge structure which would require a temporary overbridge to allow the construction of the solar park development and the necessary repair work to the bridge.

The investigation found that the existing wing walls on the canal bridge are “at imminent risk of collapse.”

The application states: “A full road closure will be required during the construction and removal of the temporary bridge.

“A temporary closure of the canal and towpaths will be required when lifting the bridge into position.

“The public right of way to the south of the bridge will be temporarily diverted during the installation and removal of the bridge.”