Hundreds turn out as Ripon council objects 450 housing plan

Residents at a Ripon City Council planning meeting
Residents at a Ripon City Council planning meeting

Ripon City Council have ‘objected most strongly’ to plans which would see 450 homes built on the edge of the city.

Chesire-based Gladman Developments’ application is currently under standard consultation after completing their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) last month.

More than 100 residents attended a Planning Committee meeting at Ripon City Council on Monday, July, 6 to speak out and raise issues with the development.

Ripon Moorside Ward Councillor, Andrew Williams (Ind), led the objections against the application and stressed that ‘future generations of children’ should be able to enjoy the greenfield site.

He said: “I have very strong views on this application. It’s a place I enjoyed a child as I was able to enjoy rolling countryside five minutes from my home.

“We need to have a look closely at housing applications for Ripon. Harrogate Borough Council announced they need to provide 621 properties across the district and Ripon needs to take eight per cent.

“That means 50 homes a year but, only a fortnight ago, planning permission was granted for 150 houses on Bellman Walk. That’s a three-year supply.

“This developer has also avoided talking to the local residents. Their only request to meet this council was in a closed session, they don’t want to engage with the local residents at all.
“They just want to build 450 homes that are not needed in an area that is unsuitable for planning developments.”

Coun Williams also raised issues with the plan’s impact on traffic, school places, flooding and the developer’s recently submitted EIA which, he argued, ‘isn’t worth the paper it’s written on’.

Residents, who had turned out in force to support the council at the meeting, applauded Coun Williams after voicing their own concerns about the plan’s impact.

One resident raised objection to the impact on traffic, and asked: “How are we going to get all these people who travel in cars in and out of Ripon? You can’t get out of Ripon anyway but it will be even more manic in the morning.

Another objected to the plans based on the submitted EIA and said: “Unless an EIA is done over at least 12 months it should not be considered. Even then it’s not quite enough as one January is not the same as the next.”

Gladman’s application is proposing a residential development of up to 450 houses, informal public open space, children’s play areas and two vehicular access points from West Lane and an associated ancillary development.

Former Mayor of Ripon, Coun Mick Stanley (Cons) said he was hoping to put Ripon’s City Plan in place quickly to ‘control’ the housing increase in the city.

He said: “Gladman are well aware that neither Harrogate’s Local Plan or Ripon City’s Plan are in existence. So, it’s going to be difficult to fight this development.

“I don’t think there is the feeling in Harrogate to fight this application. That is just my opinion, that’s the way I see it at the moment.”

At the end of the meeting, the Mayor of Ripon Coun Pauline McHardy, paid tribute to the hard work to the group of councillors fighting the application.

The Mayor also thanked the residents that had turned out to object the plans for their behaviour and ‘not acting like a mob’ following the demonstration earlier this month.