Objections to almost 200 homes

An artist's impression of how the Doublegates Quarry housing scheme would look. (S)
An artist's impression of how the Doublegates Quarry housing scheme would look. (S)

Ripon City Council has opposed proposals to build almost 200 homes in Ripon during a planning meeting.

Councillors described plans to build 150 homes at the former Doublegates Quarry site and 48 homes at the Ash Grove Industrial Estate as “over intensive”.

Despite development company Lands Improvement’s promise to improve Ripon’s bus services as part of their 150 homes plan, councillors said residents had raised other concerns with the plans, including the issue of flooding.

Councillors also said that Ripon “lacked the infrastructure” to cope with both of these plans but opinions were divided over the continuing use of Ash Bank as a necessary industrial estate.

The Mayor of Ripon, Coun Mick Stanley, said that it makes “more sense” to transform the industrial estate into a residential site as 50 per cent of Ripon residents already go out of the city to find work.

He said: “We objected to initial plans for 49 houses on the basis that it is over-intensive and there were problems with the access road.

“Now the plans have come back with just one house less and it is still over intensive and does not fit in with the area of suggested houses in Ripon.

“Some members wanted to retain it as an industrial area because it will provide jobs for people in Ripon but these jobs can be provided elsewhere.”

The submission of these applications means that, along with proposals from Gladman Developments to build 450 homes on the south-west of the city, Ripon is now facing the prospect of 650 new homes being built.

Coun Stanley said that the reason for the influx of planning applications in Ripon stems from the “inability of Harrogate council to put a Local Plan in place”.

He said: “We are very worried that there seems to be a free-for-all in houses. We have a period of four years where there is little protection for new housing.

“In Ripon we have seen bids for 650 extra houses and they have all happened in the last six months since the Local Plan was thrown out so it’s a very difficult time for us.

“If 650 houses are built then the city has to make sure that we get as much out of the developers as possible to be able to cope with the additional people that will be living here.

“To some extent it’s wait and see because it’s Harrogate Borough Council who have the final decision.”