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Ripon Cathedral announces next steps for its controversial annexe plan

Ripon Cathedral will host drop-in consultation events to answer questions regarding its controversial plans to build a new annexe.

Ripon Cathedral announces next steps for its controversial annexe plan 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 £8m. 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 eleven 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 an area called Minster Gardens. Local businesses have said it will take trade away from them and there have been protests against the felling of the trees. 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 with dates and times 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

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

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