"Nothing's changed", was the clear message from members of Ripon City Council's planning committee last night, who maintain that the threat to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal World Heritage Site stays the same for any application to build homes on the city's West Lane site.
Last week the 'Gazette featured the concerns of Ripon Residents Planning Group, who highlighted that Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) has included the land to the south west of West Lane in its draft local plan, despite joining residents in helping to fight an application from Gladman Developments to build 390 homes, which the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, is now determining following a public inquiry.
Mr Javid intervened on the grounds that the development includes proposals which could have an “adverse impact” on Fountains Abbey as a World Heritage Site.
At last night's Ripon City Council planning committee meeting, members announced that they will be fighting HBC's decision to include West Lane in the draft local plan, and will put together a response from the city council.
City Coun Peter Horton said: "Whatever the mitigation of a planning application, whether that's in terms of flooding or traffic, that doesn't change the World Heritage Site being an issue."
HBC’s Cabinet member for planning, Rebecca Burnett, Coun Burnett said last week: “The site is included in the Publication Draft Local Plan because assessments show that, in principle, it is possible to develop the site if the appropriate mitigation measures are put in place.
Those measures are set out in the site requirements that accompany the draft allocation in the plan. The council’s planning committee decided when looking at this particular application that it was not acceptable to them. That doesn’t mean that every application will be unacceptable - just that this particular one was.”