A LAKE District village will be without a bridge crossing for almost a year while a new one is constructed, a public meeting was told last night.

Residents of Pooley Bridge, on the shore of Ullswater, were invited to see the new draft designs for a modern new arched bridge that will take traffic into the village. It will replace the old stone-built bridge that was badly damaged in the floods of 2015.

During the meeting villagers were told the potential construction time for the new bridge would be around 38 weeks. They were told that for the same period there will be no bridge across the river.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Fleet, said: “This is a such a high profile project and getting the right design was always going to be a challenge – it has to meet people’s aspirations for how it should look, as well as accommodating all the various constraints, not least the requirement for flood resilience.

"Given the passionate views I’ve no doubt this new design will prompt debate, but for me it’s an elegant and practical design that could work well.”

At the meeting representatives from Knight Architects and from Cumbria County Council explained how the design had been arrived at and how the project would move forward.

The meeting was told the new design concept attempts to reflect the feedback from a recent public consultation on three different bridge designs.

Feedback on those designs was wide ranging, with many people holding strong, and opposing, views.

Residents were told that given the diversity of views, the architect’s focused on common themes, including: lightness and transparency; being in keeping with the area; elegance; flood resilience; balance between modern and traditional; and open views.

The new draft design is a solid arched bridge with open spandrels, but with additional lattice detail in the spandrel void.

It also sits lower in the landscape than previous designs, while maintaining the increase height above the river. Stone would be used for the abutments and on the deck, including stone reclaimed from the original bridge wherever possible.

On the current timetable construction would start next year, with completion in 2019.