Ripon Cathedral announces next steps for controversial annexe plan
by
Last updated Feb 9, 2024
Computer generated images of the new building. Credit: Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral will host drop-in consultation events in February and March where cathedral members will answer questions regarding its controversial plans to build a new annexe.

The cathedral “paused” its planning application to North Yorkshire Council last month following opposition from campaigners and local businesses.

According to a document published today, senior figures at the cathedral still appear committed to the extension — which it now says would cost £8 million. The figure was previously believed to be about £6 million.

However, a spokesperson said it hopes that through the consultation events it can identify areas of “creative thinking” with possible amendments made to the plans.

They said at present, the cathedral has not yet found an alternative to chopping down 11 trees. But it added the future of a veteran beech tree “remains open”.

A Q&A on its website answers some of the key questions posed by critics of the scheme. These include its potential impact on businesses and whether the annexe could be built elsewhere within the footprint of the cathedral.

It maintains the annexe is crucial to offer 21st century facilities whilst safeguarding the future of its choir.

The proposed new song school and cafe would be built next to the cathedral on Minster Gardens.

Local businesses have said it will take trade away from them and there have been protests against the felling of the trees.

Trees in Minster Gardens

A spokesperson said:

“It is hoped that a pause in the planning application to allow for additional consultation will prompt a genuine exchange of views, the sharing of informed ideas and the constructive discussion of concerns raised.”

You can read the Q&A in full here.

Drop-in events will be held at the cathedral on the dates and at the times shown below.

One event on Thursday March 7, from 9am-12pm, will take place at Ripon Town Hall,

February

  • Monday 12, 3-5pm
  • Thursday 15, 10am-12pm
  • Saturday 17, 1-2.30pm
  • Tuesday 20, 5-7pm
  • Thursday 22, 2-4pm
  • Friday 23, 10.30am-12.30pm
  • Monday 26, 10am-12pm
  • Wednesday 28, 10am-12pm

March

  • Saturday 2, 2-4pm
  • Tuesday 5, 5-7pm
  • Thursday 7, 2-4pm
  • Friday 8, 10.30am-12.30pm
  • Monday 11, 3-5pm
  • Wednesday 13, 10am-12pm
  • Friday 15, 10.30am-12.30pm
  • Monday 18, 5-7pm
  • Tuesday 19, 3-5pm
  • Sunday 24, 1-3pm
  • Monday 25, 3-5pm
  • Wednesday 27, 12-2pm
  • Thursday 28, 1-3pm

Read more: