Community Engagement in September and October 2021 – a report

INNOVATIVE IDEAS FOR HOUSING IN SALISBURY GET PEOPLE TALKING

SALISBURY people have given their verdict on four potential housing sites in the city.

They were shown proposals for the old gasholder site at Coldharbour Lane, for Quidhampton Quarry (also known as the Imrys quarry), Brown Street car park and Churchfields trading estate.

The ideas were drawn up by the Neighbourhood Plan steering group, made up of city councillors and local volunteers with specialist knowledge, advised by a planning consultant. Whatever makes it into the eventual Plan will have to be approved by voters in a referendum.

The group are eager to minimise the amount of new housing swallowing up green fields and to end the reliance on high-volume builders to provide a few ‘affordable’ homes on big new estates.

They want housing that meets the real needs of local people, and they have evidence to prove that Salisbury needs more genuinely affordable housing for young people who wish to start families and for older people who may not be able to afford suitable accommodation.  They are committed to asking the public’s views every step of the way.  Here are the early results of the first consultations, conducted online and face-to-face at events in the city centre. All comments, favourable and unfavourable, are being considered.

At COLDHARBOUR LANE, the proposal is for a 100% affordable housing community aimed at older people who cannot afford to rent elsewhere. The hope is that when they move in, it will free up affordable homes for local families. In an online survey, 75% of respondents supported it, as did a majority at face-to-face events.  Some raised concerns about flooding or contamination, but the site can only be developed if those are dealt with.

On CHURCHFIELDS, the group asked people’s views about three possible schemes: affordable homes at the old Engine Shed, live/work units and flats at the Stephenson Road depot, and a combination of live/work units, studios and some conventional housing on a site in Lower Road. All the sites belong to Wiltshire Council. Six out of ten respondents supported these ideas, although many were sceptical about the prospects for change.

Their responses have been used to prepare a wider plan for how the estate could be developed in the future.

At QUIDHAMPTON QUARRY, 52.3% of people online liked an innovative scheme for 300-400 homes, many of them affordable, with a community hub that would support home working in a green environment.

Road access was the biggest issue that came up in a consultation day with residents, and the scheme will not progress unless developers find a solution acceptable to the community.

Finally, BROWN STREET car park. The suggestion of a ‘biophilic’ building providing flats and city centre greenery, possibly with NHS facilities on the ground floor, was the least popular scheme, with 61.9% of online respondents opposed. Many were worried about a loss of convenient parking, others about the height of any new building.

The steering group are now considering transport matters including parking, and working closely with the NHS on ways of bringing health services into the city centre.

What next? More public consultation events before the steering group decide whether to take any of these schemes to the next stage of discussion with Wiltshire Council.

Click here to see the Full Report on this consultation