Residents demand answers as new footbridge closed with no explanation

Footbridge over the River Brett Hadleigh

People in Hadleigh are in uproar about the prolonged closure of the footbridge over the River Brett. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A new footbridge which only opened in Hadleigh last summer has been closed for more than four months, leaving the town and a council frustrated.

Residents of the market town and in particular the retirement complex at Tyefield Place, want to know why the bridge - built by McCarthy & Stone over the River Brett - remains closed beyond the planned reopening date. 

Footbridge over River Brett in Hadleigh by McCarthy & Stone

The footbridge over the River Brett, which connects the River Walk with the town's High Street. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Frank Minns, mayor of Hadleigh, said that in his view McCarthy & Stone's team have "not been helpful at all" when asked about the reasons for the continued closure of the footbridge, which connects Pound Lane and the High Street with the town's popular River Walk.

A spokesman for McCarthy & Stone said: "We are conscious of residents' concerns regarding the temporary closure of the bridge, and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this has caused. 

"We are working hard to ensure all the mechanisms are in place for the bridge to be opened again soon.”

"The footbridge was a requirement of McCarthy & Stone's planning consent for Tyefield Place," explained Mr Minns. 

"It was opened in the summer of last year but by October it was all fenced off with signs saying it would reopen in December, but it is still closed."

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The footbridge provides a new way into the High Street for residents of the McCarthy & Stone development, but also gives access to anyone who uses the River Walk route. 

Frank Minns, mayor of Hadleigh, urged residents to download the NHS app and "redouble" efforts to pr

Frank Minns, the mayor of Hadleigh, said McCarthy & Stone has not been helpful when asked about reasons for the closure. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Mr Minns added: "People want to know why it is still closed and what is going on with it.

A sign which tells residents of the closure of the footbridge over the River Brett near the McCarthy & Stone retirement...

A sign which tells residents of the closure of the footbridge over the River Brett near the McCarthy & Stone retirement village. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Meanwhile, further down the river an 11ft sinkhole has been discovered, leading to a full closure of the footpath off Tinkers Lane. 

The voids were established to be on the line of the old mill race from Toppesfield Mill, which was demolished in the 1950s following a fire.

Babergh District Council has closed the footpath for the foreseeable future while work is carried out to safely investigate the sinkhole. 

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