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Ripon Cathedral could make changes to annexe plans

Tuesday, 23 April 2024 09:05

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

CGI proposals of the new Ripon Cathedral building.

Ripon Cathedral says it will look at potential “practical adjustments” to its plans to build a controversial £8m new annexe.

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

The Dean of Ripon, the Very Revd John Dobson, maintains the annexe is crucial to offer 21st-century facilities including new toilets whilst safeguarding the future of its choir.

However, the cathedral paused its planning application to North Yorkshire Council in January following opposition.

Local businesses have said it will take trade away from them and there have been protests against the felling of 11 trees.

In recent months the cathedral held a series of 22 drop-in sessions where members of the church were on hand to discuss the plans and receive feedback.

It has now published the results of the consultation and said that 77% approve of its plans for the annexe.

They added that the results will be reviewed so the cathedral can “identify opportunities for areas of creative thinking” and “potential practical adjustments” to the plans.

They said the plans must still align with the cathedral’s requirements for the new building.

A Ripon Cathedral spokesperson said it received more than 900 comments during the consultation.

They said:

“Thank you to everyone who participated in the consultation. We value and respect the diverse opinions and concerns raised about the proposed plans and have been grateful for the opportunity to engage in meaningful and constructive conversations.

“Conversations will then take place with planning officers. After this, we will share a further update on progress.”

Last week, local conservation group Ripon Civic Society offered a critique of the annexe plans in a submission to North Yorkshire Council.

It said:

“The building does not work well in its location as designed other than as a functional need to provide toilets as close to the cathedral as possible, nor does it relate well to the setting or views of the surroundings.”

For more information on the plans, visit the Ripon Cathedral Renewed page.

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