The council’s Planners applied for the city to become a front runner in the government’s Neighbourhood Planning Scheme and they have just learned that they have been successful. This means that the government will give the borough council £20,000 to support the preparation of a neighbourhood plan for the City. Ripon is one of 108 successful projects to receive this round of funding.
Dave Allenby, Harrogate Council’s Chief Planner (Forward Planning), explains why this is good news for Ripon.
Dave Allenby said:
Neighbourhood planning is a new right for communities introduced through the Localism Act 2011. It means that communities can shape the development and growth of a local area through the production of a neighbourhood development plan.
These plans will become part of the local statutory development plan and will form the basis for determining planning applications in that area.
The council has also pledged support for the Greater Ripon Improvement Partnership’s (GRIP) bid to the government to become a Mary Portas Town team. If successful it could bring in over £100,000 to regenerate the city’s main shopping streets.
Under the terms of the project, a local authority must be the accountable body. GRIP has approached Harrogate Borough Council which has said it will take this on if the bid is successful. The council’s Economic Development Team assisted GRIP with the bid itself. The council has also pledged in-kind officer support, through its Economic Development, Planning, Tourism, Finance and Corporate Policy teams, to assist with the bid’s implementation. This has been valued at £32,000, which would be used as match funding, another necessary criteria under the rules of the project.
Kathryn Daly, Harrogate Council’s Acting Head of Property and Economic Development, said:
The Mary Portas Review carried out last year, made a number of key recommendations aimed at identifying what government, local authorities, businesses and communities could do together to promote the development of new models of prosperous and diverse high streets. The government is looking to support twelve Town Team pilots.
Areas must be able to demonstrate the potential for improvement and provide an accompanying statement from the local authority on securing value for money for taxpayers in the use of the grant. We have been happy to support this bid and we think Ripon is a front runner on this project too.
Local residents can also help. People are being urged to look at Ripon’s submission on YouTube as each time someone views, it climbs further up the league table. To view the bid, search for Ripon Portas Pilot.
Judith Donovan CBE, GRIP Chairman, added:
Bids require strong leadership and the Greater Ripon Improvement Partnership has shown willing to take on this role but we are grateful to Harrogate Borough Council for their support. We have also identified other match funding which will come from Ripon City Council’s commitment to provide a three year contracted City Centre Manager post, as well as in-kind funding from local visitor attractions, businesses and the local media.
The proposal to form a Town team has widespread support across the city too, with Ripon City Council, Ripon Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Ripon Retail Forum, Ripon Ring, Ripon Civic Society, Ripon Council for Voluntary Services and Ripon Cathedral already on board.