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Hotel/restaurant plan will hit city centre hard
5:10pm Wednesday 20th March 2013 in Postbag
THE A36 from Southampton to Salisbury is a major route into the city for tourists.
The view of Salisbury breasting Pepper Box Hill is stunning. The view of the cathedral three-quarters of the way along the Alderbury bypass is as fine a one as you will find anywhere in England.
Get to the end of the bypass and it is like entering a third world country. The slip road to Alderbury and the various intersections have never been swept since the bypass was built. There is so much detritus on the road the kerb has disappeared. Salisbury City Council says it is the Highways Agency which is responsible.
Down the hill there is 100 yards of smashed fencing. Round the bend is a further 50 yards of broken fencing.
Let us hope that no foreign tourist ventures to the Tesco car park. They will be confronted by a building in severe need of paint, lampposts broken, fingerposts hanging by a thread, trolley parks filthy...
and they will never get out!
Should tourists manage to return to the A36 they are then confronted by some railings to stop them falling into the River Bourne. Not for much longer as the railings haven’t been painted for years and are completely rotten. The fence along the river outside B&Q is filthy, but that is merely an introduction to the plethora of plastic and unnecessary street signs as you approach the college roundabout.
I have no words to describe the building on the left on Southampton Road as one enters the city. But look right and admire the derelict bus shelter outside Wilshire College.
I guarantee no one from the highest paid official to the lowest employee, from the chairman of the most powerful committee to the most recently elected parish councillor will accept any responsibility for this disgraceful approach to our cathedral city.
If those to whom we have delegated powers through our taxes and our vote are not prepared to act on our behalf, is democracy dead?
GRAHAM REEDER, Alderbury
Here we go again. A 65-bedroom hotel and drive through fast food restaurant on the Southampton Road has been proposed.
Richard Evans, from the developer Life Property, says “There is a need for more bed spaces of this kind in Salisbury.”
I would like Mr Evans and indeed the supporters of this proposal to provide the statistics and research carried out that substantiates this ridiculous comment.
Along with how he proposes a hotel of this size and a drive-through takeaway/restaurant would employ up to 100 staff?
I have 26 years’ experience of running a guest house in Salisbury and I would like to think I have a pretty good idea of tourism issues in this beautiful city of ours.
I would like to categorically inform Mr Evans that apart from maybe two weekends at the height of the season, the existing bed providers in Salisbury are very rarely full to capacity.
Where does he get his facts that we need another hotel from?
I would also be interested in seeing the business people who come to Salisbury to work jump on a bus to come into the city.
Realistically, they are going to stay where they are to have a drink and a bite to eat.
What about the city centre restaurants and bars? All of which provide a service to our visitors, both business people and tourists.
It is these businesses, the independent businesses and family owned businesses, that make Salisbury so special, and it is these businesses, with their personal touches, that bring visitors back time and time again. Dare I say, it is not the Travel Lodges and Premier Inns that visitors to Salisbury are looking for.
May I suggest that the people who hold positions of responsibility and whose decisions will affect these proposals in the long term, stand up and be counted, and look out for the long term prosperity of this wonderful city, and stop trying to take business away from the centre of the city?
MARGARET JAMES, Salisbury
Annie Riddle (Blog, March 14) is absolutely right. I for one will vote for anyone in Wiltshire and Salisbury City Council who opposes the Southampton Road development and I am sure that there are thousands more with a voice.
This development will strip away any chance for small businesses to survive the inevitable retail revolution. We have an ideal opportunity to develop the Maltings into a vibrant welcoming centre which provides retail and leisure with easy access to the Market Place and local businesses.
We should be concentrating on this, not out of town developments.
CHRIS MARSHALL, Salisbury