Campaign builds to defeat plans for hundreds of Ripon homes

Campaigners before the planning meeting.
Campaigners before the planning meeting.

Ripon residents campaigning against plans for hundreds of homes to be built on the edge of the city, feel that they are one step closer to succeeding.

At a packed meeting of Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday, members nominally voted in line with officer recommendations to refuse the plans for up to 430 homes to be built south west of West Lane.

Cheshire-based Gladman Developments first submitted their plans for 450 homes to be built on the site in 2014, before reducing this to 430 homes in April 2015.

Gladman appealed against the council’s non-determination of the original application in December last year.

The appeal will go to a public inquiry, scheduled to start on October 24, and a final decision on the application will be made by the Planning Inspectorate, but members of the Ripon Residents Planning Group are delighted that the planning committee have nominally supported their campaign to defeat the plans.

David Ingham, a member of the group, said: “This is a huge step in the right direction, but there is a long way to go yet in this process. We couldn’t have asked for more people to come along and show their support on Tuesday. We counted 70 residents in the council chamber.”

Ahead of the Planning Inspectorate’s decision, action groups, city residents and organisations including the National Trust, are putting forward their objections and submissions to halt the development.

A second revised application has been submitted by Gladman for 390 homes, independent of the appeal process.

Ripon City Council, the Ripon Residents Planning Group, and the National Trust all have rule six status, which means that they can take a more active role in the inquiry.

David said: “The rule six status is very important to us, it gives us a real opportunity to present a professional submission in the appeal process. We are delighted that the committee voted unanimously, but we can’t sit back, we must continue to do all we can.”