Plans to turn Ripon Police Station into retirement flats refused

Artist's impression of Ripon Police Station (s)

Artist's impression of Ripon Police Station (s)

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Ripon police officers’ move to their new Stonebridgegate site will not be delayed despite a planning application being refused for their current North Street base.

Last September, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime commissioner Julia Mulligan announced the force would be making the half-mile move midway through 2016, saving £120,000 a year.

An agreement to sell the current site to McCarthy & Stone, who planned to redevelop the site into high-quality retirement accommodation, was agreed in October 2014

However, Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee refused their application to demolish the existing building and construct 29 apartments in a Retirement Living accommodation.

Officers said the application would not improve the local character and would have an ‘adverse impact’ on the appearance of the Conservation Area.

Despite the proposals being refused, Mrs Mulligan stressed this would not change the force’s decision or the time-frame on its relocation to the Stonebridgegate site.

She said: “This planning application has been made by the developer, not North Yorkshire Police, and its outcome does not affect the progress of this project. I am happy that North

Yorkshire Police is making good progress with plans to move to a new, improved premises in Ripon, shared with North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue.

“Sharing facilities with partners when it is appropriate is at the heart of the Estates Strategy and I am glad to see we are still moving forward in Ripon.”

The decision was made to relocate Ripon’s police officers away from the heart of the city with the current station said to be too large and expensive to maintain.

McCarthy & Stone were hoping to build a block of retirement accommodation, comprising of 12 one-bedroom and 17 two-bedroom apartments, but said they were disappointed the application was refused.

A spokesperson for McCarthy & Stone said: “We are confident that the plans, which were discussed over many months with the council, offer a chance to enhance the appearance and character of the Conservation Area while meeting an identified local need.

“We are now reviewing our options, and will make a decision about our next steps in the coming weeks.”