Key summit on future of Ripon barracks

Ripon MP Julian Smith.
Ripon MP Julian Smith.

Ripon’s MP is hoping a summit he has organised to discuss the closure of Claro and Deverell Barracks will help pave the way for the future of the sites and ensure the city benefits from their redevelopment.

Julian Smith has written to public bodies, councillors and members of the public inviting them to talk through options for the sites.

It comes following the announcement that the barracks are set to be sold following the Government’s decision to dispose of both sites last year.

The meeting, which takes place tomorrow, (Friday, March 11) will be an opportunity for public bodies involved in the disposal of the barracks to discuss the next steps.

Mr Smith said: “The main focus will be to clarify who is doing what. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) obviously as the landowner has a responsibility for selling and getting rid of its land assets. The main partner in doing that is Harrogate Borough Council, which is responsible for planning. The county council has infrastructure responsibility and there are other bodies involved like Ripon City Council.

“I just wanted to get everybody together to clarify who is doing what and make the case to everybody that we have got a statutory responsibility, but we need to really ensure the public sector and private sector and members of the public can have their say on what is the best use of the site.”

Although the meeting, which is by invitation only, is aimed at public bodies and councillors, interested members of the public can contact Mr Smith if they would like to attend.

He said: “My job is to make sure that the people with responsibility think about this as carefully as possible and about what will be the biggest benefit to the city of Ripon.

“It’s a big loss and I’m really disappointed that the barracks are going and now I just want to make sure the decisions that are made are really thorough and are made in the best interests of the city.”

The MoD announced in January that Claro and Deverell Barracks would be sold alongside 10 other defence sites, which are expected to contribute £500m to land receipts which will be reinvested in the Defence Estate, and will enable the provision of more than 15,000 homes in support of the Government’s housing target.

Members of the public who are interested in attending the summit should email Mr Smith at julian.smith.mp@parliament.uk