Ripon City Plan: What happens next?

The turnout for the Ripon City Plan referendum was 21.69 per cent.
The turnout for the Ripon City Plan referendum was 21.69 per cent.

It's been five days since Ripon residents voted through the city's neighbourhood plan, with a majority yes vote of 86.85 per cent (2,292 votes), versus 12.92 per cent no (341 votes).

Open meeting announced to progress Ripon's BID plans: 'City cannot afford to sit back and do nothing'

The turnout for this referendum was 21.69 per cent, and 2,639 residents voted - there were four rejected ballot papers.

Now, thoughts are starting to turn to what will happen next - what the plan means for Ripon's future, and how it will be used.

City Plan committee member Christopher Hughes, said: "Now Ripon people have voted, even though Harrogate Borough Council have the task to 'make’ it part of district planning policy - they’ve eight weeks to do so - in effect, the plan exists and we can use it with confidence.

"I’m really pleased that so many Ripon people made the effort to support the plan. I hope that it is another example of Ripon coming together, following last year’s Yorkshire Day and Ripon Remembers commemorations."

Specifically, Christopher said the referendum result means that those behind the plan can make sure that it is used:

- By Ripon City Council when commenting on planning applications.

- By Harrogate Borough Council when considering planning applications in the Ripon parish.

Ripon City Plan referendum result revealed
- By Ripon organisations when they are looking for support on issues which are covered in the plan - e.g. Ripon Hospital, reusing the Spa Baths, opportunities for city centre parking, protecting local green space, and good design of housing schemes.

- To argue for real benefits for Ripon from redevelopment of the military estate, including sporting facilities and getting traffic out of the city centre.

- To provide ambition and vision for our city centre, especially to support a BID (Business improvement District) if that is what business want to sign up to.

- Encourage and stimulate going up the different sites and destinations east of the Market Place.

Ripon City Plan: What it is, and what it says
- As a stimulus for complementary projects; such as a Ripon sports strategy, helping get an accessible route from Fountains Abbey to Newby Hall for walkers, cyclists and people with reduced mobility.

- To argue for Ripon benefits from planning agreements; such as effective signage and public art.