Residents call for consultation over 'painful' dispute on Ripon Cathedral annexe plans

Ripon Cathedral says the annexe would help bring its facilities into the 21st century. Credit: PA

Objectors have called for a public consultation into plans to build an £8million annexe at Ripon Cathedral.

The 16th century cathedral wants to build a school for its choir and a cafe in Minster Gardens.

But protesters say the plans are destructive, with 11 trees under threat.

They have also expressed concerns about the impact on local businesses. About 30 residents met in a bar on Thursday to discuss how to block the proposals.Heritage expert Peter Bates held a meeting with residents on Thursday to discuss what a consultation might achieve. He said: "It’s about healing and trying to heal this quite painful rift and wound that seems to have opened up. If we can have a hand in doing that, it will be one of the most valuable things we can do.”Speaking about why a consultation was needed, one resident called Pat said: "Not enough people were informed from the beginning and feel reluctant to engage in the process.”

The cathedral has paused its planning application to North Yorkshire Council amid the criticism. It is holding drop-in sessions until the end of March for people to ask questions about the proposals.