The Ripon City Plan column

The draft Local Plan  originally had an allocation for 196 houses at Deverell Barracks. Picture: Army Cadets.
The draft Local Plan originally had an allocation for 196 houses at Deverell Barracks. Picture: Army Cadets.

Harrogate Borough Council has recently announced an additional six week consultation about the new District Local Plan, lasting from Friday 14 July to Friday 25tAugust.

Called the Draft Local Plan Additional Sites Consultation, this provides details of a number of additional draft allocations for housing and employment, amended draft allocations for housing, gypsy and traveller sites, draft allocation for a new/expanded settlement; and draft allocation for educational facilities. Further details and the opportunity to comment are available at: www.harrogate.gov.uk/localplan.

Additional draft allocations for housing and employment have been made because Harrogate Borough Council has reviewed both its housing need and employment land requirements to take account of the latest demographic and economic forecasts.

This review, a Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment, suggests that over the plan period to 2035 that there should be a minimum provision of 14,049 new homes, an increase of some 2,300 homes over the November 2016 Draft Local Plan.

The council has identified a number of additional sites across the district in order to meet this revised figure and to ensure that there is sufficient flexibility built in.

The City Plan Team has identified the changes in Ripon, which comprise of just two additional draft allocations for housing.

These are suggested at sites described as, “Land north of King’s Mead, Ripon” with a potential for 53 houses and “Laver Banks, Clotherholme Road, Ripon” with a potential for 63 houses.

The City Plan Team welcomes the inclusion of Laver Banks as it creates an opportunity to deal holistically with the redevelopment of the MoD land at this location. Previously, the draft Local Plan had only included a draft allocation for 196 houses at Deverell Barracks and a mixed-use site for 540 houses and 11Ha of Employment land at Claro Barracks.

In the draft Ripon City Plan, which we published in September 2016, our approach is to treat the sites of the MoD estate as the Clotherholme Regeneration area and suggest that a comprehensive masterplan for the entire site needs to be developed to include housing, business workspace, retention of the sporting fields and an allocation of a site for a primary school should a new one be needed.

Our approach favoured a brownfield redevelopment approach to housing and employment land and we believe that up to 1,500 new homes could be created in this way. Therefore, as with the other greenfield sites put forward in the draft Local Plan in November 2016, we believe that the allocation of the additional site at “Land north of King’s Mead” is unnecessary as well as undesirable.

The development of a neighbourhood plan for our city whilst the local plan for the District is still emerging has undoubtedly been one of the complexities that we have faced as a City Plan Team.

As we finalise all of our City Plan documents for submission, and in view of the complexities, we are taking up the offer of some technical support from the Government.

This independent healthcheck of our draft Ripon City Plan will assess our proposed submission and documents, and help to identify where any additional work may be required. Subject to a satisfactory healthcheck we expect to be able to submit the draft Ripon City Plan later this summer.