Objections force application changes

Ripon Market Square.
Ripon Market Square.

Ripon City Council has been forced to amend its premises licence application for Market Place and surrounding streets after 21 representations were made against the proposal.

At a meeting last week, Mayor of Ripon Coun Mick Stanley revealed the council had received only one letter of support for the proposal following the 28-day consultation period.

Despite two objections being withdrawn after City Development Manager Alan Weston answered a number of queries, major concerns from members of the public still remained.

Concerns over the supply of alcohol have forced this element of the licence to be withdrawn, although the council indicated it will seek to supply alcohol at appropriate events.

However, the amendments to the proposal did not appease Coun Sid Hawke who said that he will never support the the idea of selling alcohol on the market place.

He said: “I’m totally against it. If the council is going to hold any event out there it needs to be alcohol-free and there’s a lot of people up in arms about it.

“Alcohol on the Market Place is going to lead to trouble. I want people to enjoy themselves but there are plenty of nearby pubs that sell alcohol without the Market Place.

“It’s taken a long time to get Ripon into this position and now we should be working with police, not against them.”

Coun Stanley also revealed resident of Kirkgate and Duck Hill were particularly worried by the premises licence to include the supply of alcohol.

As a result of their objections, the council has cut back the licensed hours for entertainment in this area to 9pm.

However, the council is still seeking a premises licence for the Market Place from 9am -10pm from Sunday to Thursday and until 11pm on Friday and Saturday with an extension specifically for New Year celebrations.

The council decided to seek a premises licence for the Market Place and adjoining streets for the city to fulfil its role as a Tour de France Spectator Hub.

CounStanley said the application was necessary for future events as it provides an opportunity for more activity to take place while attracting people to the city.

However, to address remaining concerns over the application’s open-ended nature, the Mayor was also forced to suggest a voluntary condition being placed on the licence. This condition would limit the licence’s use for major events, with an expected attendance of more than 2,000 people, to six per calender year.

The application is to be considered by a licensing sub-committee of Harrogate Borough Council tomorrow (July 1).