Salisbury Central Area Framework
Our Place in the Future - Salisbury Central Area Framework
Salisbury is a wonderful place to live, visit and work. However, the city centre faces challenges which threaten its vibrancy and the livelihoods of those that depend on it. This includes the threat of climate change and flood risk, the effects of the 2018 nerve agent attack, changing shopping habits, and increasing unaffordability of homes. Wiltshire Council is preparing a Central Area Framework (CAF) for Salisbury which will help shape the future of the city centre and respond positively to these challenges.
The CAF makes a series of recommendations to guide future developments and initiatives in the city centre with the aim of bringing positive change to the city and making it a more vibrant, attractive and sustainable place. We sought your views on the priorities, proposed themes and objectives of the CAF in the summer of 2019, and we are now asking for your further feedback on a revised version of the CAF which takes into account the comments that we received last year. Wiltshire Council and its partner organisations will then take forward those recommendations of the CAF which are supported by the community.
CAF: Additional projects
We highlighted, in the two public exhibitions which formed part of the consultation process, a number of projects being worked on with city partners. Those attending the exhibition had a chance to give their views and find out more. There will be further engagement and consultation on these proposals as the projects are developed.
This forms part of the Future High Street Fund bid and, if successful, could provide a new welcoming entrance to the city. Various interventions are proposed including signage and building frontages etc to help change visitors' first impression of the area.
The project will transform the arrival experience at Salisbury's railway station. Various proposed interventions include an enhanced travel interchange, improved wayfinding and car parking facilities etc.
This project is aiming to improve the routes for walking and cycling into the city including the subways, and improved bus accessibility within the city centre through a programme of highways and structural improvements, subject to funding
This joint scheme with the Environment Agency will help reduce the flood risk to various areas in the city and improve leisure and recreational uses as well as ecology and biodiversity enhancements.
This forms part of funding bids and, if successful, will provide a fantastic outdoor visitor light attraction that will illuminate the stories of Salisbury's rich heritage. We have been engaging with the local community on their stories/experiences of Salisbury with a view to creating an overall 'look and feel' of the various chosen sites prior to creating the storyboards for the illumination show.
There is a short video of example of illuminated buildings to see how this attraction could look in Salisbury.
A public arts consultant has been appointed to help commission a number of public art and lighting artists to create high quality public realm interventions in Fisherton Street, if funding is successful.
A consultant has also been appointed to deliver a Wayfinding Strategy that will significantly improve the public realm and visitor experience of moving through the city and key arrival points to Salisbury.
We are developing a Salisbury Heritage Trail app for a smart phone. It will be targeted towards tourists as well as local residents and those in outlying areas giving them more reasons to explore Salisbury's heritage, histories and mysteries.
Frequently asked questions
The CAF will set out a blueprint for bringing positive change to Salisbury, by creating a more vibrant, attractive and sustainable central area in the city. The CAF builds on previous consultations and brings together many different projects and initiatives under one single document that, crucially, will be deliverable. It will also help to inform the emerging Wiltshire Local Plan and the Salisbury Neighbourhood Development Plan.
The CAF will guide a number of projects and initiatives in the city, which will be delivered by Wiltshire Council in partnership with stakeholders and partners including Salisbury City Council, the Salisbury Business Improvement District (BID) and prospective private developers. The CAF will be:
- widely supported
- based in commercial reality
- effective in attracting inward investment for the city
- clear in how its projects will be delivered
Salisbury is a historic, characterful and in many ways a successful place. However, in recent years, a combination of the economic downturn, the changing role of town and city centres, climate change and the nerve agent incident in 2018 have threatened its resilience. Some retail units have been left empty; parts of the public realm are tired and dated and new development has sometimes failed to deliver the best for Salisbury. So, we recognise that there is a need to re-invigorate the city centre. We need to make sure Salisbury city centre is as successful and resilient as it can be to make it a better place to live, work and visit for both local people and visitors to the city. This plan will assist the council in attracting investment into the city and shaping future projects and initiatives.
Salisbury is your city. We want your views to make sure that the themes and ideas in the CAF reflect what local residents want for the city. We have already fed in the comments that were received during the summer 2019 consultation, and this is a further opportunity to help us refine the document to make sure that it is widely supported.
People-friendly streets provide a safe and pleasant environment to encourage walking and cycling in the city centre, and to reduce the dominance of the private vehicle within shared streets.
The Maltings and Central Car Park is a strategically important development site within the central area of Salisbury. The site is already allocated for redevelopment within the Wiltshire Core Strategy and is now the subject of a masterplan which sets out the guidance principles for the redevelopment. The CAF forms an overarching document for Salisbury which brings together various projects that are ongoing in the city. It supports the plans for the Maltings, setting out the wider context for an integrated and well linked city centre.
We are working hard to ensure that the ambitious projects set out in the CAF can be delivered as soon as possible. Some of the projects that are supported by the CAF, such as the Illuminating Salisbury light show, if successful in gaining funding, are expected to be delivered within the next year. Others are likely to take longer to deliver and may be dependent on the council being successful in bidding for funding from outside sources. The CAF is intended to form a blueprint which can help to steer negotiations and collaboration with landowners and investors to try and unlock some of the sites which for various reasons have stalled.
We are working closely with the city council as they develop their neighbourhood plan, and it is intended that the CAF will form part of the evidence that supports this process. The neighbourhood plan will set out planning policies that will, once made, form part of the council's development plan. The CAF recommendations do not hold the same weight in planning decision making. The CAF recommendations also relate to initiatives that are not land-use matters. The neighbourhood plan will be concerned primarily with land-use matters.
The CAF looks to encourage sustainable transport modes within the city centre, which will reduce carbon emissions and pollution from unnecessary private car trips into the city. The CAF also responds to the climate emergency by implementing adaptation measures to protect the city centre from flood events. In 2019, Wiltshire Council committed to seeking to make the county of Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030. The council will seek to work with partners at the appropriate times to explore whether there are viable opportunities within these workstreams for sustainable energy generation.
The projects will be funded through a variety of sources. It will provide a number of 'ready to go projects' which will put us in a good position to bid for Government funds (such as the Future High Streets Fund) as they are announced. There will be some elements that can be delivered through using contributions from developers in the area (Community Infrastructure Levy), some through revising existing priorities and others through working in smarter ways and partnerships. No one should be under the illusion that the funding is in place to deliver everything at once. The CAF sets out a strategic work programme for the next ten years and more. What is important is that when funding is available, we are in the best position to secure it and that it is targeted in a systematic way on those priority schemes in the CAF that are backed by the community and can deliver the biggest benefit to the city.
A partnership for this project has been formed by the Environment Agency and Wiltshire Council and a project structure put into place. Detailed design work is being undertaken and the first outputs of this are included in the exhibition material within this consultation (Ashley Road and The Maltings elements of the River Park). As with any major project there is a lot of work needed in project planning, resource allocation and environmental impact assessment scoping prior to anything visible being released.
The production of the CAF involved liaison and discussions with bus operators and the need to support the transition to electric vehicles is fully agreed and supported. The council will take all possible measures to facilitate this. The question is one of timing. The buses are operated by private companies and it will be for them to decide when they change their fleet, and Wiltshire Council is assisting where possible in external funding requests.
The existing gallery space will not be moved until a new space has been provided. The long-term aspiration is to locate a new, larger art gallery as part of the Cultural Quarter.
The new library will be state of the art and continue to provide a wide range of books and other services similar to the existing facility. The 'requests' service will continue which gives access to a huge number of publications.
The new plans will take large areas of the city out of flood risk. It will not increase flood risk downstream from the city centre. It will allow much more precise water management and attenuation to safeguard the wider city. A scheme which in effect sacrificed downstream areas at the expense of the city centre would not be acceptable to the Environment Agency and the council and indeed would not meet statutory requirements.
Any works to the river will be subject to a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment and a Habitats Regulation Assessment. These need to be approved by Natural England and the council's ecologists. These assessments are required to show potential impacts during construction and how they will be effectively mitigated. This is usually managed by Natural England through an agreed Construction Environmental Management Plan. No works will progress until all plans are in place to safeguard ecology during construction of the scheme.
All possible steps will be taken to minimise impacts on the city centre during any works, although some disruption for a programme that is potentially so transformational is inevitable. In particular, there will be close liaison with existing businesses to minimise impact on their trade. Salisbury is fortunate to be built on a historic chequer system which does offer many temporary alternative diversions if needed.
This will need to be produced in a partnership between Wiltshire Council, Salisbury City Council, Salisbury BID and private businesses. A project group will be formed that will report to the Future Salisbury Place Board.
A partnership for this project has been formed by South Western Railway, Network Rail and Wiltshire Council and a project structure put into place. As with any major project there is a lot of work needed in project planning, resource allocation, discussions with stakeholders such as Salisbury Reds and environmental impact assessment scoping prior to anything visible being released. Concept design work is taking place for the station forecourt.