Ripon Cathedral major development requires removal of 11 trees
Last updated Jan 20, 2023
If planning permission is granted, the toilet block (pictured left) will be demolished as part of the redevelopment proposals.

The most significant development in hundreds of years for Ripon Cathedral has been submitted to Harrogate Borough Council’s (HBC) planning department. 

If planning consent is granted, it will see the construction of a two-storey standalone building to the north of the  Grade I listed cathedral, which would include a refectory, song school and the city centre’s first Changing Places toilet, providing access for disabled people.

The £6m scheme also involves demolition of the existing toilet block on the site, along with outbuildings and a stone wall.

Documents  on HBC’s planning portal show that the development on Minster Gardens involves the removal of 11 trees – one of which was assigned by the council as having ‘veteran status.’

In its planning statement in support of the application, Rose Consulting, says:

“The proposal does involve the removal of eleven trees, including a tree to which HBC have assigned veteran status but with compensatory planting on a ratio of five new trees to each one removed.

“This number of lost trees has been reduced to a minimum as a result of discussions with the council.”

At its December meeting, where a pre-application presentation was made on the cathedral’s proposed development, Ripon city councillors gave their support in principle, with the caveat that they could not agree to any future closure of Minster Road – which runs past the ancient building.

Minster Road

The application submitted to Harrogate Borough Council, does not include plans for the closure of Minster Road  to through traffic – though it is a longer-term ambition

Speaking at that meeting, leader of the council Andrew Williams, said:

“We will be looking at the finer detail when the planning application is submitted, but the city council supports the general principle of this development, with the exception of the proposed closure of Minster Road, which we cannot agree with because diverting traffic elsewhere would cause many problems.”

In its submission to HBC planners, Ripon Cathedral Chapter points out:

“Ultimately it is hoped that closure of Minster Road to through traffic may one day arise – for which there is growing political and community consensus but is a benefit which is not deliverable within this application, as it is not in Chapter’s gift.”

The cathedral, which celebrated its 1,350th anniversary last year, has a national and international reputation which has seen visitors grow year on year to in excess of 100,000 in 2022.

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