Residents to march in support of Tadcaster Bridge plans after Sam Smith's objection

Tadcaster's fallen bridge
Tadcaster's fallen bridge

Furious residents will march on Sam Smith's Brewery on Friday after its owner launched an objection on plans to widen Tadcaster bridge.

Plans were approved to widen the bridge, currently under repair following its partial collapse at a Selby District Council planning meeting last week.

However, shortly after the application was approved, the brewery, owned by businessman Humphrey Smith, launched its objection on the grounds it "contradicted planning policy".

In a seven page letter, Sam Smith's said this conflict with policy had "not been outweighed by material considerations" and as a result, planning permission should be refused.

Tadcaster resident Kirsty Perkins said that the community will now conduct a "civilised rally" in support of the plans by marching on the brewery.

She said: "Obviously we are all annoyed and disappointed with this development because we thought the plans had gone through and breathed a premature sigh of relief.

"Sam Smith's is a major land owner in Tadcaster and have a low of power and importance here. But they have traditional values which do not speak for the town.

"We want to show just how many people support the plans for the bridge widening. We want this to go forward but we don't want a big protest.

"The past nine months have been horrible for Tad, really awful and the last thing we need is an angry mob. But the one thing we do have is an amazing community spirit."

The town was split in half when severe Boxing Day floods caused a large section of the 18th century bridge to collapse and crumble into the waterway.

Plans to install a temporary footbridge to connect the two sides threatened to hit a stumbling block in January following a further objection from the brewery.

Mr Smith refused to allow the temporary footway to be built on his land, labelling the £300,000 project a waste of money before Tadcaster Albion proposed an alternative location.

This community spirit has been "crucial" in helping Tadcaster pull through following the devastating floods, according to Ms Perkins who said the same attitude would be needed again.

She said: " It has been awful since the floods it really has. I think people underestimate the mood of the town, we go in waves.

"There are times when we are incredibly disappointed when we see businesses going and we don't know if they will ever come back.

"Then there are other businesses carrying on, trying to keep their head above water and it's hard to maintain that momentum of being positive.

"But this is an amazing community. The money raised to support everyone is phenomenal and it just keeping coming in which is truly humbling."

Ms Perkins is urging residents to take part in the show of support for the plans which are due to begin at 9.30am on Friday, September 23.

"What we are hoping for is that the power of the people is more powerful than the people in power," Ms Perkins said.

"If we all stand up together that will make a big difference. We want as many people to come forward and say they support the plans."