Referendum date set for vote on Ripon's future

The referendum date has been fixed for February 14.
The referendum date has been fixed for February 14.

The referendum date for residents to vote and have their say on Ripon’s neighbourhood plan has been confirmed.

Emphasising the significance of the plan, which sets out key priorities for the city’s development, committee member Mick Stanley has described the hefty document as “the city’s first opportunity in two generations to exert some influence on proposed development.”

The plan has been produced through a number of stages, and it’s five years since Ripon residents were first asked what they thought would make Ripon a better place.

City plan committee member Christopher Hughes said consultation has been a theme throughout the process, and he believes the final version of the plan that’s going to referendum on February 14 captures what the people of Ripon want to see.

He said: “What has been interesting for those of us who have been writing and preparing this plan, is the range of things that Ripon people saw as being important to the city plan.

“We hope people will want to vote for it, and want to exercise their vote. What excites me is the way the examiner has heard what makes Ripon locally distinctive, and the way he has enabled the voices of the people of Ripon to be captured and heard.

“We don’t want this plan to sit on a shelf. We believe that this plan captures what the people of Ripon say would make a better city. We hope people can come together to push some of these things detailed in the city plan forward.”

Central themes of the city plan include protecting Ripon’s green spaces and distinctive skyline, reducing flood risk, and looking at the future of Ripon’s army barracks site and sports provisions.

Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for planning, Rebecca Burnett, said: “If successful and formally adopted by Harrogate Borough Council, it will provide an important part of the development plan for Ripon, by providing locally distinctive policies which will inform the determination of planning applications.”