Fight to save views of cathedral

Ripon dentist David McFarlane, who fears the view to the cathedral will be blocked. (Picture ' Adrian Murray)
Ripon dentist David McFarlane, who fears the view to the cathedral will be blocked. (Picture ' Adrian Murray)

Ripon residents have raised ‘deep concerns’ over plans to demolish and develop the Jewson site on Bondgate Green as they would lose their view of the cathedral.

The application would see seven buildings, two apartments and an office/retail space built in place of the building but residents have argued the height of the development would block their “magnificent view”.

David McFarlane, who owns a dental surgery on Bondgate Green, and architect Claire Jamieson, recently began campaigning against the plans and have collected 70 signatures for their protest.

A decision on the application was expected to be made at a Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) meeting on February 3 but this was deferred pending a site visit after a speech from Ms Jamieson to the planning committee.

Ms Jamieson described the vista of the cathedral as “significant and historic” and said that, as a minimum, a site visit was required before any decision was made.

She said: “The vista of the cathedral here is beautiful. It will be completely and irrevocably lost forever with the proposed street development to an elevation of nine or 10 metres. Should the decision be to support this application it will have a permanent and irreversible impact on Bondgate Green.

“I have no doubt that a scheme can be developed that would contribute to the streetscape and enhance the vista, but this application does not.”

Ms Jamieson also argued that the application would “destabilise” Ripon’s City Plan to make the area a gateway to Ripon and requested the development be re-designed.

The application will now be debated by HBC on Tuesday, February 17 and Mr McFarlane is urging fellow residents to write letters to the council expressing their concerns to ensure their view remains protected.

He said: “We did not know anything about the application until recently but now, the most important thing is raising the awareness and letting people know what is at stake.

“Nobody is objecting to the development of the site, I just don’t want to see such an important view destroyed. If we lose it now then we are never going to get it back.

“I’m doing this because, when you see something beautiful and want to return there for future generations then you do everything you can to protect it.”