A city-wide consultation which could help give residents and businesses a bigger say in the future development of Ripon is being launched today (Friday).
Part of initiatives to produce a City Plan for Ripon (also known as the Neighbourhood Plan), the four-week exercise is asking people to consider and comment on the Prelimiary Draft Plan.
Key ideas in the document, which have been developed out of previous public consultations, are to regenerate parts of the city as new urban villages and to show where priority could be given for new homes. It also discusses protecting areas needed for employment, and potential sites for new hotels to boost tourism.
Following the consultation, the final version of the City Plan – which would provide a blueprint for development over 15 years – will be put to a public vote on whether Ripon should adopt it.
The Mayor of Ripon, Coun Mick Stanley – chairman of the City Plan Committee – said: “This is an important step for our City Plan. I hope that people will think that we’ve listened to what they’ve told us would make Ripon a better place.
“We’ve added this extra preliminary stage, beyond what Government regulations require, to give us time to get the final version as good as we can make it.”
Several Ripon organisations came together in 2011 to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan under the Government’s new Localism Act. It has taken on greater importance in recent months after Harrogate Borough Council withdrew its Sites and Policies Plan following adverse comments from the Planning Inspectorate.
City development manager Alan Weston said: “We are confident Harrogate’s Core Strategy still gives us sufficient direction for drawing up the City Plan.”
Information about the City Plan is being delivered to Ripon households along with details being added to www.riponcityplan.com
There will also be exhibitions during the consultation in Ripon Town Hall on Saturdays, from September 26 to October 18, from 10am-1pm, and on Thursdays, from 10am-3pm. The consultation ends on Tuesday, October 21.