Account of Planning Forum
The Civic Society’s annual Planning Forum took place on April 11th, with the title ‘Staging a Recovery: Current Initiatives towards Revitalising Salisbury’, and was judged to have been extremely successful. It covered various aspects of the current ‘Salisbury recovery’ project, with particular looks at possible improvements to Fisherton Street, and at a Maltings masterplan, which has now been published and is out to consultation. The ideas for Fisherton Street are in the context of a hopefully successful bid to the government’s ‘Future High Streets Fund’, which will be giving grants towards work seen as reviving retail areas of towns and cities, now under threat particularly from internet shopping.
Visualisations of possible Fisherton Street improvements were shown at the meeting, without any fixed proposals being on the table at the moment. The necessary point was made that the street has a very individual character, and work on it needs to make the most of this, rather than altering this key approach to the city centre into something at odds with what it currently offers.
The Maltings masterplan sets out ideas for that key area of the city, not least regarding its envisaged role as providing Salisbury’s ‘cultural quarter’. The importance of the Avon, and its millstream, running through the site are key elements in the plan, which wants to see a green riverside corridor running up the full length of this part of the river. The Civic Society thoroughly backs this idea.
The Forum meeting was exceptionally well attended, and the excellent talks by two Wiltshire Council officers, Tom Dobrashian and David Milton, were followed by a wide ranging questions session, which was terminated only by time running out. The Civic Society will be taking a keen interest in the developing ideas on the future of the city, which it finds encouraging, and will be making its own response to the Maltings masterplan consultation.