If you want to save city youth hostel, respond now

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.

MARGARET WILLMOT, Salisbury City Councillor Fisherton & Bemerton Village Ward

Comments (3)

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3:08pm Sat 30 Nov 13

gingin says...

Here we go again another site being sold off for development. Wiltshire Councils soft approach to the greed of developers knows no bounds. If it is sold then there will be no resistance from Wiltshire Council and they will spin every excuse they can find to justify it.

This wonderful facility in it's pleasant surroundings should be refurbished and stay put!
Here we go again another site being sold off for development. Wiltshire Councils soft approach to the greed of developers knows no bounds. If it is sold then there will be no resistance from Wiltshire Council and they will spin every excuse they can find to justify it. This wonderful facility in it's pleasant surroundings should be refurbished and stay put! gingin

3:07am Thu 12 Dec 13

IanMcL says...

Another nail in the tourist offering.

YHA....get real and look after the single backpackers and not just the lucrative customers who are far from young.
Another nail in the tourist offering. YHA....get real and look after the single backpackers and not just the lucrative customers who are far from young. IanMcL

3:09am Thu 12 Dec 13

IanMcL says...

!Margaret - Get the application called in, for councillors to decide.
!Margaret - Get the application called in, for councillors to decide. IanMcL

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