PLANS to rebuild a railway bridge in Westhoughton to give ‘a more modern appearance’ have been approved.

Last month Network Rail told planners at Bolton Council of their intention to reconstruct the existing bridge off Chew Moor Lane, close to the Corner Brook housing estate.

The current bridge is a single-span flat deck structure made from wrought iron girders which spans the Manchester to Blackpool line.

The bridge’s parapets are also of wrought iron with stone pilasters at each side.

A planning report set out the details of the new bridge.

It said: “The new bridge will have a deck formed of steel beams with cast in situ concrete infill rather than the wrought iron of the existing bridge.

“It will have a more modern appearance than the existing structure.

“It is not considered that the existing bridge is unique in its design nor locally distinctive.

“However, the infill materials to be used on the disused span should be similar to existing materials rather then cladded with concrete blockwork as shown on the proposed plans and this will be conditioned as part of the approval.”

The submitted plans show that the proposed reconstruction includes anti- trespass screens attached to outside face panels and aluminium parapets to run across the bridge.

Planners have now approved the plans with a condition that it ‘be finished with materials of similar colour, texture and size of those of the existing bridge’.

They said that was needed to ensure the development fits in visually with the existing building and safeguards the character and visual appearance of the locality.