Live: Ripon City Plan referendum result

The vote count is well under way.
The vote count is well under way.

The Ripon Gazette is reporting live here from Ripon leisure centre, bringing you the results of the Ripon City Plan referendum.

The Harrogate Borough Council elections team confirmed that 2,639 votes have been cast in total today.

BREAKING: The result of the referendum has just been announced - click here to see it in full.

We are joined here by Ripon city councillors, a number of interested residents, and members of the City Plan committee.

Ripon resident Lindy Webb, who is here at the count, said: "I am very excited about this, if residents support it, Ripon's voice will be considered when Harrogate Borough Council looks at planning applications. I would also just like to pay tribute to those who have worked for so many years on producing this plan for the benefit of Ripon."

City Plan committee member Christopher Hughes, who is observing the count that is now well under way, said: "I am just pleased that so many people in Ripon have taken the trouble to come out and express an opinion and vote.

"I would like to thank all the volunteers who have put in so many hours, days, weeks and even years into getting the plan to where it is today.

Recap: What the City Plan means

If more than 50 per cent of the Ripon residents who vote, vote in favour of the plan, it will be formally adopted and used by Harrogate Borough Council to consider all planning applications in the Ripon parish - giving the city what has been described by committee member Mick Stanley as “the first opportunity in two generations to exert some influence on proposed development.”

The plan contains a raft of policies around issues such as housing, community facilities and promoting the city centre as a meeting place of choice.

Ripon City Plan committee member Chris Hughes said: "Ripon has been concerned over the past generation and a half about how much autonomy it has locally, and in its own small way this neighbourhood plan is a way that Ripon can exercise and express its autonomy. The plan is something that's been produced by Ripon people for Ripon people."

The large document is the culmination of more than seven years of research and consultation with residents. The plan started to evolve in October 2011 when five Ripon organisations - Ripon City Council, the Greater Ripon Improvement Partnership, Ripon Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Ripon Civic Society and the Chapter of Ripon Cathedral - came together to seek Harrogate Borough Council’s support in requesting Government to add Ripon to its list of places wishing to prepare a neighbourhood plan.