I RECENTLY attended a meeting of the Salisbury Area Board.
My reason for attendance - and for that of a number of members of the public there - was because the developers behind the proposed building of a Sainsbury's superstore off Southampton Road were giving a presentation of their revised plans.Not one member of the public or the council at that meeting expressed support for the proposals.
On the contrary, there were cogent and at times impassioned objections.
These objections were unanimous in their reasoning.
"We don't object to a new Sainsbury's store - just not in that location!"
Some people even resorted to begging the developers to look for another site.
Clearly the revised plans, supposedly answering the concerns about the traffic congestion and building on a floodplain, were cutting no mustard with the citizens of Salisbury.
The developers made it clear that only if the Highways Agency and the Department of the Environment vetoed their proposals would they withdraw their plans.
The overwhelming opinion of the citizens of Salisbury may affect some small details of the plan but would not in the end be a deciding factor. So much for democracy.
At the time I was deeply affected by the strength and conviction of the objections voiced by the people of Salisbury at that meeting.
But afterwards the only words that echoed in my mind were those of the developers: “We are committed to this site. It is the only site available to compete on an equal basis with Tesco.”
So there you have it.
That is why Sainsbury's want to build their superstore on a floodplain, on an impossibly busy road.
It's going to need a lot of us to raise our voices in order to be heard over the roar of the battle between the supermarket giants, and even then our voices may well count for nothing.
One thing I do know. If they do go ahead and build their store in that location here is one customer who will never cross their threshold. Care to join me, anyone?
Sylvia Barnard, Salisbury
TO conserve or not to conserve? That is the question.
Firstly, if I remember rightly, it was the conservationists at the time who managed to persuade the powers that be at the time to stop the building of the Salisbury bypass on the grounds that it would spoil the water meadows.
The answer to the question is: should the conservationists of this time now be campaigning for the development of a food store to be stopped?
Secondly, if this plan does go ahead perhaps Sainsbury’s could be persuaded to build the bypass, or at least give a considerable grant towards the cost, because this development is inevitably going to increase traffic and cause complete chaos all over Salisbury - let alone the extra flooding - and all they will do is dance to the sound of ringing tills.
So come on conservationists, where are you? Salisbury needs you again, but this time with a more practical stance – stopping a development that will have dire affects on the infrastructure of Salisbury as a whole, unlike the benefits of a bypass.
Jenny Gee, Winterslow