THE Journal reported (April 17) the concerns expressed by local residents about inadequate parking provision should the Friends Life offices in Castle Street be converted into 78 flats.

However, I feel these concerns are unfounded.

Many people opt for city centre living because they appreciate the benefits of a lifestyle which is not car dependent.

This is a realistic option in central Salisbury where facilities and services are within walking or cycling distance, and there is good public transport provision and an established car share club for those who would like to use a car from time to time without the hassle and cost of owning one.

The 2011 census figures for St Edmunds and Milford ward show that 34 per cent of households had no car, 45 per cent had one car, 17 per cent had two and four per cent had three or more.

If the proposed new dwellings were to be occupied by a representative cross-section of those who currently live in the ward then the 78 dwellings would between them own 73 cars.

The current on-site provision of 140 spaces would therefore seem to be more than adequate for the future occupiers of the site and their visitors.

Given the extent of onsite parking and the existing numbers who already use Zone A residents’ parking, it clearly makes sense to specify a planning condition that would ban residents from making use of on road parking provision, and to make sure that this planning condition is enforced should the development proceed.

Margaret Willmot, Salisbury city councillor, Fisherton & Bemerton Village Ward