Ripon’s army barracks, which have been used by the military for over a century, look set to be converted into 1,300 homes.

Government housing agency Homes England has been developing the plans for several years with the Ministry of Defence.

The scheme is called Clotherholme and also includes a new primary school, sports pitches, retail, food and drink units and a 60-bed care home.

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One of Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee final acts before the council is abolished will be deciding whether the development goes ahead.

Councillors will meet next Thursday afternoon in Harrogate and the plans have been recommended for approval by HBC case officer Andy Hough in a report.

The Ripon Barracks site consists of Deverell Barracks to the east, Claro Barracks to the west and Laver Banks to the south.

Homes England says 3,000 people would live there to increase the population of Ripon by a fifth, although this does not take into account the loss of military personnel that have lived in the community for decades.

It’s expected that all the homes would be built by 2035 and 30% would be classed as affordable.

The barracks were originally built as a convalescent camp for troops during World War 1.
Thousands were housed there including the wartime poet Wilfred Owen, who wrote some of his famous poems there.

But the planning application includes the demolition of all historic buildings including one of the best-surviving World War 2-era prefab sites.

Historic England raised ‘strong concerns’ over the demolition of the building but it has been decided that it can’t be retained due to asbestos, which HBC officer Mr Hough called “extremely regrettable”.

Homes England has pledged to work with the Ripon Military Heritage Group on developing the proposals.

Campaigners have long raised fears about the impact on local roads and there have been calls to include a relief road via Galphay Road but this was rejected.

Access to the site would be from Clotherholme Road and Kirkby Road.

Homes England undertook traffic studies that predicted if the homes were built there would be queues and delays at existing junctions, so changes to the Low Skellgate, Coltsgate Hill and Clock Tower junctions have been proposed.

A new roundabout would also be created at the junction of Kirkby Road and
Chatham Road.

In his report, Mr Hough wrote: “The historic core of Ripon has provided challenges in accommodating the
highways and transportation impact of the proposed development within
existing highway boundaries.

“However, what is now being proposed offers the opportunity of positive benefits to the highway network particularly in the area to the west of Ripon Market Place.”

The applicants have agreed to pay £4.694,875 to North Yorkshire County Council to go towards local primary and secondary schools.


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If approved, they would also pay £907,267 to the NHS to support healthcare facilities.

Mr Hough concluded in his report: “Overall, the proposed development accords with the objectives of planning policies at national, regional and local levels, in particular the Harrogate District Local Plan and Ripon Neighbourhood Plan and is considered to be in
accordance with the Government’s objectives for sustainable development.”

The meeting will begin at 2pm on February 23 at Harrogate Borough Council’s Civic Centre. It will also be streamed live on the council’s YouTube channel.