A COUNCIL will carry out modelling work to replace a Trefnant bridge that collapsed during heavy flooding in January.

Denbighshire County Council said it will seek to construct a new bridge to replace Llannerch Bridge, dependent on necessary funding, which will include a request for Welsh Government support.

The decision, which follows a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, November 23, gives the green light to further ground investigation and flood modelling work to come up with a feasible design that will meet the planning requirements.

Llannerch Bridge, which provided a crossing over the River Clwyd between Trefnant and Tremeirchion, and was used as a route to the A55, collapsed during Storm Christoph on January 21.

A consultation had been carried out over potential reconstruction work, which had received comments from about 750 residents.

Brian Jones, the council’s cabinet member for waste, transport and the environment, said the decision is "a major step forward in getting this vital link back" but there is "still much work to be done".

“The importance of the route has been emphasised by the level of interest shown in the recent public engagement held by the council," he said.

“I would like to thank the fantastic response from the public which will help the council build a business case for funding a replacement bridge.

“The responses were also really useful in terms of our thinking about how any new bridge should look.

“However, there is still much work to be done before we get to the point where funding can hopefully be secured for the project.

“Unfortunately, replacing Llannerch Bridge will not be a quick or easy process, and it will not be possible to provide an accurate timescale for it until we have secured funding for the project.”

Dr James Davies, MP for Vale of Clwyd, who had raised the issue with UK Government minister for floods, Rebecca Pow, said the process to replace the bridge has been "incredibly slow".

"This historic bridge was much loved by the local community and is greatly missed," he said.

"The residents have already been inconvenienced by its loss for 11 months, so a replacement is much needed.

"It was feared by some that it would not be replaced. Therefore, I am extremely pleased by today's decision by Denbighshire's Cabinet. I do recognise however that many will feel the process so far has been incredibly slow.

"I will now contact Denbighshire County Council to arrange a meeting with the relevant officer to discuss next steps. 

"It is vital that the funding is secured quickly so that work can begin on sympathetically reinstating this crossing and I will be doing everything I can to assist in the process."

Vale of Clwyd MS Gareth Davies had previously called for Welsh Government funding in June. "There has been a bridge in place at Llanerch since the 19th century which is a staple of the community so I urge the Welsh Government to look at all possible funding options," he said.

Denbighshire County Council had previously predicted the bridge would take more than a year and a half to rebuild.

Dewi Davies, Tremeirchion community councillor, said at the time that he believed 18 months was an "ambitious' target".