Councillors issue fresh plea to save historic military buildings from demolition at 1,300-home site in Ripon
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Ripon’s three barracks are set to close by 2025 in order to build the scheme called Clotherholme.
But there have been question marks over what will happen to some of the site’s structures with some dating back to World War I.
The buildings include seven training huts which are believed to be some of the last remaining of their type in the country as well rare training bridges used by troops throughout the 20th century.
Plans from the government’s housing agency Homes England were approved in early 2023, but speaking at a meeting of Ripon City Council, Councillor Barbara Brodigan said she believes the public body are under no legal obligation to protect the structures from demolition when the time comes to build the houses.
Ripon Military Heritage Trust, which is a registered charity, is spearheading efforts to save the buildings and has previously suggested they could be used to attract tourists to Ripon.
Councillors unanimously backed a proposal by Councillor Brodigan to write a letter to Homes England on behalf of the council calling for protection of the site’s heritage assets.
Councillor Brodigan said: “The buildings don’t just have historical significance but they could also be used by scouts and cadets and would be a huge benefit for Ripon.
"It can’t be understated the significance of these buildings although unfortunately they’re not listed.
“They’re from not only WW1 and WW2 but the Cold War as well.
"Just to take the buildings down and replace them with information boards around the site undervalues their significance.”
Councillor Pauline McHardy said Homes England “appear to be listening but have got cotton wool in their ears”.
She added: “In Ripon we have a lot of military history here and a lot of people who live in Ripon are linked to military, some married soldiers and brought up their families here.
"I hope it’s put in very strong terms that this is what we want for Ripon.”
A Homes England spokesperson said: “We remain committed to delivering a military heritage strategy as part of our wider proposals for the site and continue to discuss options with the Local Planning Authority and the Ripon Military Heritage Trust.”