A PLAN to demolish Salisbury’s city centre Tesco store and rebuild it with a hotel above is to be considered by councillors on Thursday.
The proposal by Spenhill Developments Ltd, which is owned by Tesco, would see the Tesco Metro and Avon and Riverside Houses in Castle Street turned into a replacement ground floor shop with a 65-bedroom hotel above it.
A planning officer’s report to Wiltshire Council’s southern area planning committee recommends that the application is given permission, despite the objections from Salisbury City Council and from the owners of existing hotels and guest houses in the city.
A letter sent to the council by objectors said: “It is strongly believed that this will have a detrimental effect on the character of our medieval city, where individual, independent businesses create an experience that many of the visitors to the city enjoy.”
It states the application is “not adding to or enhancing the existing accommodation providers” who collectively employ about 120 people and ask that the developer funds a comprehensive analysis of the need for accommodation in the city.
Agent Mango Planning, who submitted the application to Wiltshire Council on behalf of Spenhill, said the proposed development would “enhance both the retail and accommodation offer within Salisbury”.
The application states: “The application proposal seeks to make effective use of a partly vacant site within the urban area of Salisbury to facilitate significant new investment, creating new job opportunities for local people and providing a sustainable development.
“It will maintain and strengthen the functional relationship between the application site and the remainder of the city centre, including the Maltings, and will maintain a strong anchor presence in Castle Street.”
A public exhibition was held in the city in April and many concerns were raised about the impact the hotel would have on existing businesses in and around the city, with bed and breakfast owners saying it could ruin their livelihoods. The southern area planning committee will meet at South Wilts School on Thursday at 6pm.