No objections to mart homes plan

Water spurting out of the ground near Mrs Cordrey's home. (S)
Water spurting out of the ground near Mrs Cordrey's home. (S)
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Homeowners have criticised the council’s decision to raise no objections against a housing application for the former auction mart, labelling it “ridiculous”.

Ripon City Council raised no objections to the application to transform Ripon’s historic auction mart site into 75 homes when they met to discuss the plans prior to the application by Ripon Property Development Ltd being decided by Harrogate borough councillors.

But after the meeting a group of four homeowners who live near the site told the Gazette the decision was a “whitewash” after voicing concerns at the planning meeting about gypsum problems and ground stability at the site.

Carol Cordrey, who lives beside the proposed site on North Road, said at the meeting: “This is a piece of fragile land which is very worryingly still being described by the applicants as an area where gypsum is not a problem. How are residents to feel about an application where such a cavalier attitude is at the heart of the thinking on this proposal?”

Mrs Cordrey described an incident where drilling in the ground near her home caused flooding, pictured above, and said building on the site might put houses at risk of collapsing and passers-by in danger.

“When drilling happened on the field, water shot 30ft into the air and flooded the land. Our garden flooded within two hours when they drilled at the bottom of the field.”

After the meeting, Mrs Cordrey said: “It’s a whitewash. The whole thing is just ridiculous. A greenfield is a greenfield for a reason. We just feel like we are hitting out heads against a brick wall. We are not against something happening with the site – it just needs to be something appropriate.”

Speaking at the meeting, Mayor of Ripon Coun Andrew Williams said: “I certainly have grave concerns so I do not think we are in the position to recommend an approval of the application. There is also no social housing proposed on the site and there is a need for social housing in the city. There needs to a great deal more work done to convince me to pass to application.”

Coun Williams admitted something needs to be done to improve the site, however.

“It is an eyesore on the approach to Ripon,” he said.