Mixed views over housing plan

From: Ella Pearson, Magdalens Road, Ripon

I am writing in response to the development proposals for the auction mart site and adjacent field.

I have lived all my life as a resident on Magdalens Road and am horrified by the plans to build houses on the field, a clearly Greenfield site. The definition of a Greenfield site is land used for agriculture or forest land. It has never been built on and was always used for sheep to graze on or to grow crops.

The field has always provided light and a sense of space. It was a beautiful plush meadow for many years with a thriving habitat for a variety of animals made up of century old trees at the end of the field.

I spent my childhood like many others down our street watching intently the harvest of crops and the developing of lambs to sheep. The sloping hills provided sledging in the winter and adventure in the summer.

Over the years people have been interested in the development opportunity of the field, but have walked away due to the instability of the ground. We have been informally told by a previous surveyor that within a matter of years the properties could be falling into a hole. Only this past year the ground riddled with gypsum faults created a sudden hole in the garden of a property on our road.

I am disappointed the field is even being considered for development. It is not part of the auction mart buildings which are clearly separated by a hedge and it was always owned separately.

I agree the auction mart buildings are dangerous and dilapidated; it is brownfield and could be developed on. The field cannot be described as ‘neglected back land’ (Ripon Gazette 30/12/11 attributed to council economic development officer) and should be allowed to remain a valuable and beautiful green space. Let us hope the planning committee see sense and don’t destroy what is a Greenfield site.