Campaigner ‘unquestionably delighted’ after £6 million expansion plans of Ripon Cathedral postponed

The woman who has led the campaign against Ripon Cathedral’s £6 million annexe is “unquestionably delighted” by the decision to pause the plans.
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The cathedral issued a statement on Tuesday that said the proposals would be paused for several months in order to “consider people’s genuine concerns and takes in the opinions of stakeholders”.

The proposed new song school and cafe would be built next to the cathedral but the plans have been highly controversial in Ripon.

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Local businesses have said it will take trade away from them and there have been protests against the felling of several trees that would make way for the new building.

A campaigner against the plans to expand Ripon Cathedral is 'delighted’ that they have been postponedA campaigner against the plans to expand Ripon Cathedral is 'delighted’ that they have been postponed
A campaigner against the plans to expand Ripon Cathedral is 'delighted’ that they have been postponed

The plans have not been scrapped but could now be altered so the Cathedral can overcome some of the concerns put forward by objectors.

Jenni Holman, who helped organise the protests as well as a petition that has garnered thousands of signatures, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that she hopes there can now be a way forward that satisfies all parties.

Ms Holman said: “This move is welcomed because I feel it is a step towards the town working together with the Dean and Chapter to reach a compromise, which would be that the trees are left to flourish while the cathedral obtains a song school and, for the benefit of everyone, more acceptable toilet facilities.

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“I think it demonstrates the importance of full public consultation so that such battles can be avoided in future.

“I am overwhelmed by the support, and the number of signatures on the petition which exceeded 2,100, all of whom lived in or visited Ripon.

"It was intentionally a paper petition which required people to see for themselves the area in dispute.

“I am pleased that as well as this swathe of opinion, that the points made by bodies such as The Woodland Trust, the Ripon Civic Society and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust as well as the valid objections by individuals were listened to.”

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Ripon Cathedral said in its statement: “Following continued and constructive collaboration with planners from North Yorkshire Council, Ripon Cathedral has taken the decision to pause the planning application for its proposed north side development for a number of months.

“During this period, there will be opportunities for additional consultation, where we will once again be able to listen to comments and concerns from the people of Ripon and the region in relation to the proposed new building.

"We will also continue to work constructively with the planners and other key stakeholders.

“We hope that this will allow us to move forward in a way that considers people’s genuine concerns and takes in the opinions of stakeholders, whilst allowing us to deliver the amenities that the cathedral so desperately needs along with the benefits the building will bring to the city and region.

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“The exhibition of the project remains in the cathedral and further opportunities for informed feedback will be advertised on our social media channels and website in due course.

For full details on the project, visit