Phase Two – Developing and Consulting on the Preliminary Draft Plan

Following the first focus group meeting, which was an opportunity to discuss the feedback from the “How could Ripon be better for you?” consultation, the first part of phase two of the development of the Ripon City Plan was to produce a mission statement, vision and objectives.

These were produced and agreed by the City Plan Team and an exhibition was organised in December 2013 to enable people to drop-in for an update and to offer views and thoughts about the emerging vision and objectives for the Plan. A copy of the information used for the exhibition can be found here:

City Plan – Drop-In Session – Display Boards

Over the next weeks and months, the City Plan team met with a large number of representatives from various organisations to discuss issues and opportunities to help refine the emerging proposals. A focus group meeting was held in April 2014 to enable views to be gathered about emerging thinking in relation to the strategic growth options which the City Plan should seek to achieve and this was followed by another focus group meeting in July 2014 which provided an opportunity to present the emerging draft Ripon City Plan for the first time.

Feedback from these meetings was used to produce and publish the preliminary draft Ripon City Plan in September 2014 and carry out a wide-scale community consultation during October and November. This included a direct household mailing of the 20 page leaflet containing the proposals. Details of the consultation materials can be found here:

Ripon City Preliminary Draft Ripon City Plan Leaflet

Preliminary Draft Ripon City Plan Questionnaire

Town Hall Exhibition – opening hours


The responses to this consultation were analysed by the City Plan Team and the following is an extract of the presentation given to the focus group, which outlined the most common responses to the questions posed in the consultation:


  • General support of proposals
  • No “major” changes needed
  • Comments inform the development of draft City Plan with policy details


Issues Raised – By Developers

  • Neighbourhood Plan should wait until HBC complete Local Plan
  • Conformity with the Local Plan
  • Need to promote specific site proposals


Issues Raised – By Stakeholders

  • Sport England: provided guidance notes information
  • Environment Agency: identified the need to consider the flood risk in relation to the Bondgate Green regeneration area
  • Natural England: Provided advice but identified no major issues
  • English Heritage: Provided advice but identified no major issues
  • North Yorkshire County Council: Stressed the need for collaboration particularly in relation to the funding of services and the provision of infrastructure. Also, identified the infrastructure requirement of new housing needed to be developer lead and suggested that further work was necessary to justify the highways proposals
  • Harrogate Borough Council: stressed the need for a robust evidence base. Secondly, suggested the need for alignment with emerging Local Plan. Thirdly, encouraged the consideration of protecting smaller employment sites. Finally, suggested the inclusion of the Auction Mart site within Ure Bank Regen Area


Issues Raised – By Public

Q1. Do you support the general approach to planning for the future of Ripon?

Yes = 92%

Q11. Overall, do you support the proposals contained in the preliminary draft Ripon City Plan?

Yes = 92%

Q2. How far does the ‘preliminary’ plan meet your expectations?

Suggested changes to the proposed development limit

Queries relating to the Neighbourhood Area

The need for further protection against development

Concerns about the deliverability of the Plan

Q3. What do you think of our proposals for supporting the Ripon economy?

Recognition of the importance of Tourism:

  • Support for the need for a new hotel
  • Recognition of the City Centre as a tourist attraction

Importance of City Centre:

  • Need to address vacant premises
  • Need to improve and change the retail and leisure mix

Importance of employment land and premises at the Barracks

Management issues:

  • Better utilisation of Highfield Business Park
  • Issues of high business rates and rents

Q4. What do you think of our proposals for enjoying open space?

Need to protect existing space

Need to propose new space

Improvements can be made to accessibility and connectivity

More detail is needed  about specific proposals

Specifically there is a need for more:

  • play areas and children’s recreation
  • allotments

Positive comments about the integration of Spa Park and Spa Gardens

Concerns about the loss of open space on Kirkby Road

Support for creating new accessible open space at Auction Mart

Generally positive comments about the proposals for the football and rugby clubs

Management issues:

  • Litter
  • Anti Social Behaviour


Q5. What do you think of our proposals for regeneration areas?

All of the three identified areas were generally supported

Recognition of the need for supporting infrastructure

Suggestions about the architectural style and appropriateness

Concerns about the proximity of housing and employment

Ure Bank:

  • Suggestions that the listing of the maltings was a barrier to redevelopment
  • Concerns about accessibility being a key issue for this area

Bondgate Green:

  • Concerns about the appropriateness of coach park use
  • Recognition that the redevelopment had to be sensitive to the setting of the Cathedral


  • Support for the public use and protection of the sports fields
  • Support for the need to look at road accessibility and improvements
  • Support for a mixed use development and re-use  of existing site assets

Q6. What do you think of our proposals for strengthening the city centre?

Concerns about the quantity and location of car parks and the need for improvements

Support for improved footpath links and better connectivity

Recognition of the potential for better use of the properties on upper floors

Support for the Cathedral development

Agreement to the approach to the swimming pool relocation and re-use of the existing facilities

A mixed range of views about changes to the shopping offer and the retail and leisure mix

Management issues:

  • Tidiness and cleanliness of the city centre
  • Concerns about the level of business rates and rents and lack of support to new businesses
  • Suggestions for increased Market Place usage and improved friendliness
  • City Centre way-finding signage

Q7. What do you think of our proposals for new housing?

Good positive support for brownfield approach to housing and use of upper Floors

Concerns about proposals for development outside the city

Concerns about affordability of housing

Recognition of the potential of the military estate

Q8. What do you think of our proposals for connecting Ripon?

Support for railway re-instatement

General support for improving walking and cycling connectivity particularly in the south & west of the city

Concerns about Clotherholme accessibility particularly with large scale house-building

Management issues:

  • Impact of large vehicles in City Centre
  • Need for improved signage
  • Potential of through traffic on Borrage Lane to alleviate problems with Low Skellgate
  • The levels of traffic in the Market Place and the unfriendliness to pedestrians


Q9. What do you think of our proposals for protecting the environment and heritage?

Support for skyline protection

Recognition of the importance of environment and heritage as the city’s unique selling point

Recognition of the need to protect historic buildings

Support for high quality development and environment protection

Q10. What more do you think we should try to do in the plan?

Many comments previously covered

Need for additional infrastructure and services to support the housing growth of the city

Need for new leisure and cultural facilities to improve the city’s offer and support housing and economic growth


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