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£1million spent on bridge in Basildon that was never built
HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash was wasted designing a host of “ridiculous” A127 road bridges which never got built, it has emerged.
Government funds were ploughed into paying top architects to dream up proposals for an iconic bridge at the arterial road’s junction with Gardiners Lane South in Basildon, which were later scrapped after planners realised it would be too expensive to build.
The proposals, panned by Basildon councillors as a waste of money, included:
- One to rival the Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead, Tyne-and-Wear.
- A copper-coated bridge
- One lined with trees
- Another covered with lavender
The bridge, planned to allow lorries access onto the road, was deemed vital to allow proposals for the major Gardiners Lane South business and housing area to be built.
However, despite the project being 15 years in the making it was shelved after English Partnerships, the owner of the site and which commissioned the bridge designs, worked out there were no government grants available to build the bridge junction.
Details of the cost of the bridge designs were revealed publicly for the first time by Basildon Tory councillor Stephen Hillier during a council debate about the business park not being delivered, because the council wants to see the scheme back on the cards.
He said: “English Partnerships spent close to £1million just on designing a serious of plans for a grandiose bridge over the A127.
Architects were commissioned to draw up plans, then there was a whole day spent looking through them where they were whittled down to six, but the bridge never even got built because there was no funding for it.”