If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
If you want to save city youth hostel, respond now
2:53pm Wednesday 27th November 2013 in Postbag
DOES Salisbury need a youth hostel? The 70-bed youth hostel on Milford Hill has served Salisbury well since the 1950s, and in 2012/13 had an occupancy rate of 62.9 per cent, bringing around 16,000 overnight stays to Salisbury in the year.
The Youth Hostel Association is planning to sell the hostel, which is in need of refurbishment, and a planning application has been submitted to develop 15 retirement homes on the site – four flats in the old listed house and 11 new dwellings in the grounds (which will result in the loss of approximately half the 70 trees and tree groups currently growing there).
There is an aspiration for more visitors to come to stay in Salisbury and Wiltshire and the South Wilts Core Strategy supports this aim with Core Policy 23 stating that proposals for change of use of existing bed spaces in hotels, etc will be resisted unless it can be clearly demonstrated there is no longer a need for such a facility.
The youth hostel provides budget accommodation which is suitable for groups, who make up nearly a third of visitor numbers.
It is easy to overlook this facility due to its secluded location and low traffic impact.
Youth hostels have always been popular with those travelling by public transport or on foot and by bicycle and even today only 15 per cent of visitors arrive by car.
The youth hostel’s visitors spend their money in local shops, restaurants and tourist attractions and it seems particularly bad timing that this facility is set to close just as the new Stonehenge visitor centre is about to open with the potential increase in visitors that might bring.
Anyone who feels Salisbury still needs a youth hostel should respond to planning application 13/05286/FUL via Wiltshire Council’s website before the December 5 deadline.
Comments are closed on this article.