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Southampton Road is not viable location for new hotel
3:38pm Wednesday 13th March 2013 in Postbag
IT was with utter disbelief that I read the article giving us the news that planning permission was to be sought for a hotel and also a drive through restaurant on a site alongside the A36, Southampton Road, close to where it enters our beautiful city, and is already straddled by an existing retail park (Journal, March 7).
I so hope that our planning committee will refuse any such application and also the one for another supermarket in the same area and in close proximity to Tesco, Lidl, other stores and the park and ride.
The current layout of this retail area provides egress in only three ways and, worse still, only two exits. Two of the ways into, and the exits from, this area are actually the A36, which is a major route round and also into and out of our beautiful city.
Every local motorist will know of the congestion, particularly at weekends and in the summer, that occurs in that area.
Recently, in a spur of the moment and ill considered decision, we visited Lidl on a Saturday and became trapped in their car park for 50 (yes, 50) minutes.
The cause, I later learned, was a broken down car on the A36, which a recovery vehicle had considerable difficulty in reaching.
Should a major incident such as a fire or explosion occur in that area the congestion would be chaotic and, possibly, catastrophic.
A final and extremely relevant point that I hope the planners will consider in relation to this proposed development and that of the supermarket is that they will use up more of the flood plain.
Use of the flood plain can cause or exacerbate flooding and may well cause the water to travel more rapidly towards the sea giving it less time to sink into the ground and replenish our already depleted water tables.
I have even been led to understand that the stability of our cathedral may depend on maintenance of moisture in the gravel it stands upon.
BRIAN FORD, Salisbury