A Ripon councillor has called for large-scale housing plans for the city to be put on hold with Claro and Deverell Barracks set to close.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on Monday, January 18, that, as part of the Department’s Footprint Strategy, the sites were part of 12 that were to be sold.
This is expected to enable the provision of more than 15,000 homes in support of the Government’s housing target, as well as contributing £500m to land receipts.
Coun Andrew Williams (Ind) has now argued the 450 homes plan for the edge of the city must be put on hold while the council explore housing possibilities for the site.
He said: “The barracks are already brown filed sites, they have already been developed so something has got to happen with the site.
“The Government clearly want to get some money from the sale of the land and housing generates more money than any other development.
“It makes more sense to build on that than on open countryside. We have long argued that.
“We know it will definitely be sold off so it means other sites need to be put on hold while the council, very quickly, work up proposals to how that land can be utilised.”
However, the council currently has not detailed proposals for the land and neither site is set to be disposed of before 2017.
As a result, the barracks currently offer little protection against development proposals as the council would struggle to demonstrate it as land suitable for housing.
MP for Skipton and Ripon, Julian Smith, said he was disappointed the city would lose the barracks but was hopeful the land could now be used as effectively as possible.
He said: “The MoD’s land sales will deliver property so I think it’s a huge opportunity to build homes so people can live in Ripon.
“The sale will be done in conjunction with the local council. It’s for everybody to feed back on what’s a good use of the land, there may be opportunities for business enterprises.”