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Ripon's sinkholes: Harrogate Borough Council's full response to latest concerns

Ripon resident Stanley Mackintosh fears that the sinkhole which opened up next to Ripon leisure centre in February 2018 is active again.
Ripon resident Stanley Mackintosh fears that the sinkhole which opened up next to Ripon leisure centre in February 2018 is active again.

Harrogate Borough Council has issued a statement responding to concerns that Ripon could be about to see its next sinkhole.

The statement comes after city resident Stanley Mackintosh urged the council to cease ground testing work at Ripon leisure centre immediately.

A sinkhole opened up next to the centre in February, and Mr Mackintosh believes that drilling to prepare for Ripon's new swimming pool has reactivated it.

But today, a Harrogate Borough Council spokesperson told the 'Gazette: “When the sinkhole at Ripon Leisure Centre was discovered back in February, gravel was used to reinstate the ground rather than concrete, as we knew the site could be redeveloped in the future. We knew by using gravel it would shift and move over time as it begins to settle.

"Of course, weather also plays a part, and with the recent rain this has caused some movement. However, there are no concerns for alarm and we will continue to monitor the sinkhole as we have done since February.”

Mr Mackintosh told the 'Gazette on Friday: "I find it hard to imagine how building a safe swimming pool here could be feasible. Meanwhile, exploratory borehole drilling in the Ripon gypsum karst area should be completely prohibited.

"The site is part of a vast complex of ancient sinkholes arcing around the south, east and north of central Ripon which are often reactivated or extended by borehole drilling and other ill-considered interventions."