Ripon barracks development needs to consider traffic, councillor warns
The development of Ripon barracks into 1,300 new homes needs to be done with an eye on how the city's roads would cope with the influx of extra traffic, it has been warned.
Andrew Murday, a Bewerly Parish Councillor and the Liberal Democrat's prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Skipton and Ripon, aired concerns over how more than 1,000 new homes would contribute to Ripon's traffic, saying "every junction in this city is already snagged up".
Mr Murday said that while the development would be good for Ripon, it had to be done with consideration given to wider patterns of traffic in the city.
"I'm not into Nimby-ism - we've got to take the city forward," he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
"I'm not opposed to the development at all, I think it'll be good for Ripon.
"(But) the roads are just so small, it's hard to see how they would manage with extra traffic."
Mr Murday said that current access roads to the barracks at Galphay Lane and Bishopton could struggle to deal with the addition of hundreds of extra vehicles, with many new residents likely to have to travel outside of the city daily for work.
"Most of the people who come here are unlikely to work in Ripon," he said.
"I don't want to sound like I'm whinging, it's a great opportunity for Ripon, but they do have to seriously consider how people are going to be using their car to get in and out."
He added that a survey dropped into thousands of letterboxes by Ripon's Liberal Democrats revealed that transport was a key concern that local residents held in relation to the development.
He said one of the measures that could be taken to alleviate traffic would be the building of relief roads, such as one that would head east out of the development and linking to Ripon's ring road.
It is only early days for the planned development, with public consultation workshops held in August.The Government formally announced plans to build 1,300 new homes in as part of the development of the city's army barrack sites in July.
A planning application for the space on Claro and Deverell Barracks will be submitted to the council later this year.
This is the first site to be progressed as part of a partnership between Homes England and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to develop surplus Ministry of Defence land across the country.
Marie Kiddell, head of public sector land at Homes England, said at the time: "We are working hard to define our masterplan for Ripon Barracks and are keen to work with the community to ensure we are addressing the needs of the local area. Following the community engagement events, we will be working with DIO towards submission of a planning application later this year."
Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter