Long-standing Ripon eyesore finally tidied
Oct 9, 2023
The site following the tidy up.

The site of a former Ripon petrol station and convenience store that has been derelict for decades, has been tidied up 11 months after city councillors called for enforcement action.

The defunct Express petrol station on Skellbank, which has been empty for more than 20 years, is located on the tourist route to Fountains Abbey and diagonally across the road from Hugh Ripley Hall — named in honour of Ripon’s first mayor.

In early 2021 Harrogate Borough Council planning enforcement officers instructed the owner to tidy the site, cut back vegetation and leave it in an acceptable manner prior to any further development.

Last November, Ripon councillors called for further action to smarten up the area, which remained in an overgrown state.

The overgrown site pictured in November 2022.

At a full city council meeting last November, Cllr Stuart Flatley’s request for the now abolished Harrogate Borough Council to serve a Section 215 enforcement notice on the site owner was unanimously supported, after he said:

“This area is on the route to the Fountains Abbey world heritage site and has been in this unacceptable condition for many years and we can’t let this continue.”

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Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 gives local planning authorities the power to take steps requiring land be tidied up when its condition adversely affects the amenity of the area.

If it appears that the amenity of part of their area is being adversely affected by the condition of neighbouring land and buildings, they may serve a notice on the owner requiring the situation be remedied.

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