Letter: Housing plan - Infrastructure stretched too far

Personnel at Claro Barracks
Personnel at Claro Barracks

I read with interest in the Gazette Councillor William’s proposal that when Claro and Deverill Barracks are eventually sold that the sites should be used for housing.

Whilst this at first sight seems a sensible suggestion, like other proposals for 450 houses at another site, may I suggest that these ideas seem to slip off the tongue without due consideration.

My point is that the barracks site would be likely to develop into hundreds of houses and therefore numerous cars.

What consideration has been given to the Ripon infrastructure to cope with the likely outcome? For example, schools, medical support and transport links.

For example Clotherholme Road which leads to the barracks is already at capacity, especially with traffic during school times serving both Ripon Grammar and Outwood Academy schools and would definitely not cope with additional use by some hundreds of cars.

The rear entrance to the barracks, currently closed off, along Kirkby Road is totally unsuitable for the extra traffic which if going towards the city would cause bottlenecks at Blossomgate and Coltsgate Hill.

Whilst undoubtedly additional housing is needed in and around the city, the infrastructure to support development should be given a high priority and should be in place before housing expansion.

May I point out that the married quarters around the barracks will still be occupied by service families for years to come and the occupants will have to commute to Catterick on a daily basis, thereby increasing the traffic flow possibly along College Road which already is congested by cars parked either side of the road.

I doubt that Ripon Community Hospital and doctors’ surgeries would cope with the additional demand of hundreds of new family occupied houses, and some of the schools are already at full capacity.

It seems to me that more thought should be given before making glib proposals which do not bear scrutiny.

Maybe it is time for a western bypass from the main entrance of the barracks crossing the Rivers Laver and Skell and then joining up with the Harrogate Road beyond the Daffodil bends and going north/north east to join up with the A61 beyond Hutton Bank.

Mike Pallott

Church Lane, Rainton