Backlash stalls plans for homes on derelict site

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RESIDENTS are being left in the dark as to when plans for the biggest housing development in Ripon for a decade are to be resubmitted after an application was withdrawn last week.

The plans to build 96 new homes on the derelict Ripon auction mart site – 21 of which are affordable -– were withdrawn last week following a public backlash. Yesterday, Ben Bailey Homes, the developer behind the scheme, said it was now unable to say when the proposals will be resubmitted and what changes will be made.

It had been hoped the proposed investment in the auction mart site, which has been derelict for 10 years and become a target for vandals and arsonists, would represent a major step forward to prevent the city becoming an economic orphan to Harrogate. But Ripon Councillor Stuart Martin told the Yorkshire Post the developers were now back looking at a blank page.

“There were a lot of objections and some concerns have also been raised by planning officers,” he said.

“It was felt on the back of all these concerns that it was the best way forward to withdraw this application and start afresh.

“As far as I am concerned we are back to a blank page. Ultimately it has got to be the right development for the city.”

The plans were submitted to Harrogate Borough Council late last year and went on show to Ripon residents for the first time last month. Concerns raised included the design of the properties and impact on existing homes.

A Ben Bailey spokeswoman said: “It was a pro active decision by Ben Bailey and our agents, which has been made to enable continued dialogue with the local residents and officers of Harrogate Borough Council and was not due to any issues regarding gypsum or ground stability.

“The scheme is being refreshed taking into account matters raised with the previous application and a fresh application will be submitted following further consultation with the local planning authority, residents and councillors.”