Market Place has had its character taken away

I AM an expat, now living in France.

A return visit to Salisbury, the town where I was both born and a town centre retailer for 35 years, proved heartbreaking.

The biggest shock was the once quirky Market Place.

The ‘architects’ of the tragedy should not be in business.

The planners responsible should all be removed from their posts for allowing such a dreadful travesty to take place.

I assume the cost was completely astronomical and probably at the cost of robbing the many retailers who have all become victims of the ongoing great rates robbery.

I feel so sorry for those now fallen retailers who, I am sure, put their lives, souls and significant investment into trying to make a shop work in Salisbury.

Many of these retailers were the heart, soul and essence of the city centre.

I know from bitter past experience that seeking help from the rating authority, in difficult times is futile.

The prize for their efforts in trying to make the city centre a better shopping experience is a vast concrete landscape resembling a Second World War aerodrome with not one grain of character.

Shame on you Wiltshire Council or whoever signed the cheque.

So town planners, where do you go from here?

You have removed all but a seriously dwindling number of retailers, utterly destroyed our once lovely market square, made parking utterly unbearable with a park and ride service that fails to meet the needs of both daytime and evening visits to the city.

I assume that park and ride is also horribly in the red.

You need a serious reality check and endeavour to cooperate much more with those who are victims, both past and present, of your incompetence.

Richard Pickett, Riberac, France

Comments (3)

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9:36am Fri 11 Apr 14

J Wright says...

Sacrebleu now visitors from France are having a moan about the Square. I don’t understand how Mr Richard Pickett thinks that a tarmac’d Market Square full of cars is better than it is now and I’m not sure what retailers he thinks have been lost from the Market Square due to the refurbishment, they are all still there, in fact there are even a couple of new ones. Surely the evidence speaks for itself - everyday when the sun is shining every single bench is full of people sitting having their lunch and enjoying the lovely open space.

Isn’t it about time the Journal stopped printing such negativity and all the moaning minis in Salisbury put up and shut up. The refurbishment is done and nothing can change it now so embrace it and enjoy it.

J Wright, Salisbury
Sacrebleu now visitors from France are having a moan about the Square. I don’t understand how Mr Richard Pickett thinks that a tarmac’d Market Square full of cars is better than it is now and I’m not sure what retailers he thinks have been lost from the Market Square due to the refurbishment, they are all still there, in fact there are even a couple of new ones. Surely the evidence speaks for itself - everyday when the sun is shining every single bench is full of people sitting having their lunch and enjoying the lovely open space. Isn’t it about time the Journal stopped printing such negativity and all the moaning minis in Salisbury put up and shut up. The refurbishment is done and nothing can change it now so embrace it and enjoy it. J Wright, Salisbury J Wright
  • Score: 9

10:18am Fri 11 Apr 14

AndrewM says...

The implemented scheme didn't need planning permission...and the Journal has previously reported we've lost fewer retailers than just about everywhere else...
The implemented scheme didn't need planning permission...and the Journal has previously reported we've lost fewer retailers than just about everywhere else... AndrewM
  • Score: 5

2:32am Sat 12 Apr 14

minkleberry says...

You have both missed the point of the letter. He is not saying a sea of tarmac is better, and this refurbishment is responsible for the retailers leaving. Although it is a complaint voiced many times, and repeated across the country in small market towns and cities, it is the independent retailers who are disappearing to be replaced by faceless, characterless chain stores. In a city as small as Salisbury these chains appear more prevalent as there are less shops overall. When the coffee and charity shops are factored into this it leaves little room for the small retailer who cannot afford the rent and rates expected by greedy landlords. We are fortunate in Wiltshire at the moment where business rates are concerned in that no fees are applicable if the rateable value is low enough. If WCC decide to change this in the future then it will certainly cause more closures, my own shop included, and I would think common sense is currently prevailing. Incidentally, I disagree about the Market Square being a 'travesty', but already the oil stains are starting to take over. This is spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar (or oil!), and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. I find it hard to believe there is no material that can be sprayed to prevent oil soaking in. The market square does look better than it used to, and Salisbury has an opportunity to make it the focal point is should be.
You have both missed the point of the letter. He is not saying a sea of tarmac is better, and this refurbishment is responsible for the retailers leaving. Although it is a complaint voiced many times, and repeated across the country in small market towns and cities, it is the independent retailers who are disappearing to be replaced by faceless, characterless chain stores. In a city as small as Salisbury these chains appear more prevalent as there are less shops overall. When the coffee and charity shops are factored into this it leaves little room for the small retailer who cannot afford the rent and rates expected by greedy landlords. We are fortunate in Wiltshire at the moment where business rates are concerned in that no fees are applicable if the rateable value is low enough. If WCC decide to change this in the future then it will certainly cause more closures, my own shop included, and I would think common sense is currently prevailing. Incidentally, I disagree about the Market Square being a 'travesty', but already the oil stains are starting to take over. This is spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar (or oil!), and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. I find it hard to believe there is no material that can be sprayed to prevent oil soaking in. The market square does look better than it used to, and Salisbury has an opportunity to make it the focal point is should be. minkleberry
  • Score: 6

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