Ambitious plans to transform Ripon with 1,500 new homes set out in City Plan

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Ambitious plans setting out how Ripon should develop over the next 15 years have been set out in the newly published draft City Plan.

The Ripon City Plan has set out a series of planning policies in the hope of transforming the city centre's growth and its economy and tourism sector.

By 2030, the plan is aiming to create more than 700 new jobs, introduce a new retail development in the city centre as well as building a new hotel.

The plan also sets out ambitions to build up to 1,500 new homes, introducing "major" new facilities at the Cathedral and new community health, leisure and sport facilities.

Work on the draft plan has been continuing since its inception three years ago, led by a group of volunteer planning specialists.

Richard Taylor, a former professional heritage planner and a member of the City Plan Team said: "We're proud to say that the Ripon City Plan is entirely locally-led.

"It’s the result of two community consultations since 2013 where residents told us what they wanted for Ripon and we have taken many of their comments on board.

"We believe it brings together local aspirations with strategic thinking into proposals that will improve Ripon, as a place to live, work and visit, without compromising its unique character.

Residents now have the chance to consult on the wide-ranging plans, including the regeneration of the military estate.

A new urban village named Clotherholme has been proposed following the closure of the Claro and Deverell Barracks.

The plans include retaining the military premises for employment, creating a sports village as well as incorporating the military roads into a public highway network.

New shops have also been proposed at the Market Place Quarter, in the event of the closure of the current postal sorting office.

The site has been earmarked as an "opportunity for comprehensive development" including the upper floors being developed into a new hotel.

Alan Weston, Ripon City Development Manager, said: "It’s a strategy that reflects the needs of families and community life in Ripon today while preserving the integrity of the city’s heritage and environment.

"We believe the plan offers opportunities for vibrant growth which are in harmony with the city’s size and its distinctive qualities.

"Every household and family in Ripon has a stake in the Ripon City Plan and oncethey have read it, we urge them to give us their feedback."

The plan states that it promises to give residents "more control" over where developments should go and how they could benefit the community.

Harrogate Borough Council are currently working on a new Local Plan for the district and, by law, Neighbourhood plans should not contradict these policies.

However, the summary states that a Neighbourhood Plan offers a great opportunity for a more "engaging and community led approach to the future."

All Ripon households will receive a copy of the summer draft plan and are invted to give their views during the consultation which runs from Monday, September 19 to Sunday October 30.

A number of drop in sessions will be held in Town Hall with the first of these scheduled for Thursday, September 22 from 10am - 1pm.