Bid to build bridge across Wharfe clears latest hurdle

Brian Spence , secretary of the Burley-in-Wharfedale Footbridge Committee, ventures across the stepping stones on the River Wharfe at Greenholme near Burley
Brian Spence , secretary of the Burley-in-Wharfedale Footbridge Committee, ventures across the stepping stones on the River Wharfe at Greenholme near Burley
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Campaigners have won their fight stretching almost two decades for a new footbridge across the River Wharfe linking West and North Yorkshire.

The Burley Bridge Association (BBA), whose president is journalist and broadcaster Janet Street-Porter, has petitioned since 1996 for a bridge across the river at Burley-in-Wharfedale.

Campaigners will now focus their attention on fundraising after Bradford councillors granted the scheme planning permission.

David Asher, of the BBA, said: “A number of conditions were made, some similar to those made earlier in December by Harrogate Borough Council, but we feel that these are all reasonable and achievable. The panel also appeared reassured by an agreement in principle by Burley in Wharfedale Community Trust to assume responsibility for managing the maintenance of the bridge and the associated funds after construction.

“The BBA would like to take this opportunity to thank the large numbers of people who wrote into both councils with their superb letters of support. We are well aware that we now have some major challenges ahead in terms of fundraising. We now look forward to achieving the final hurdle of a permanent safe and reliable crossing of the River Wharfe in Burley-in-Wharfedale.”

Planning permission was given by Harrogate Council in December. Bradford Council received correspondence from 51 people opposing the bridge and 241 people backing the plans.

The new bridge across the river at the end of Leatherbank is expected follow the line of the existing stepping stones and will cost an estimated £250,000 plus a lifetime of maintenance costs.