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Friday 03 March 2023

Action has been taken to speed up progress on Salisbury’s Neighbourhood Plan

Hundreds of responses were submitted from residents, local organisations and public bodies to the Salisbury Neighbourhood Plan consultation which ended in October. The dedicated website had 4,061 visitors, who made a total of 783 contributions. Other people submitted written responses.

Evaluating them and revising the plan to make sure all responses have been taken into account has taken weeks.

Many people raised concerns about traffic and transport problems, which are largely outside the scope of the plan as they are the responsibility of Wiltshire Council.

The most controversial elements were the proposals for individual sites for new affordable housing to meet local needs that were identified by our research. These included the former gasworks site at Coldharbour Lane, Quidhampton Quarry and Brown Street car park.

To minimise delay, the Councillors and Community Volunteers on the Steering Group have decided to set these aside from the draft plan for now and continue working on them separately as longer-term projects.

Therefore, the rest of the plan, containing important policies to protect our streetscape, historic environment, nature and wildlife, to promote good building design and to set out our wider vision for Salisbury’s future can move on to the next stages – final consultations with Wiltshire Council, examination by an inspector, and a referendum open to all voters living within the City Council boundary.

Steering Group Chairman Cllr Annie Riddle said: “If and when it passes that referendum, it’ll be good news for the city because having an adopted plan means local people’s views will carry more weight in the planning application process and the City Council will be allowed to keep a higher percentage of the CIL money contributed by developers for infrastructure projects. That means more decision-making in local people’s hands.

“We are grateful to everyone who has contributed to the process so far and we hope it won’t be many more months before we’re able to put the plan to a vote of all our residents.”