Residents being asked about new park

PEOPLE are being asked whether they would like to see a new park created in Salisbury.

The idea of a green space that could be used by workers at Churchfields and the law courts as well as residents has backing from a cross-party group of city and Wiltshire councillors who want to gauge public opinion.

The site they have in mind is on the Cherry Orchard Lane end of the old engine shed site, alongside the planned police custody unit. It is derelict, and they believe it is unsuitable for housing because its height would mean residents overlooking the police compound.

Cllr John Walsh, who represents Fisherton and Bemerton Village, said: “There’s no green space at all for Churchfields or for people on the Wilton Road.

“It would be lovely to have a little area to be used by workers for their lunch break, and by residents of Hedley Davis Court.

“It would also be a good place to have facilities for older children, because there will be the police next door to keep an eye.

“There are no neighbours to disturb at the industrial estate, and the railway blocks off the site at the other side.”

Cllr Walsh, a Labour member of both councils, is working with Conservative Wiltshire councillor Richard Clewer, who represents St Paul’s, and independent city councillor Margaret Willmot, who also represents Fisherton and Bemerton Village, on the idea.

They hope that Section 106 money – given to Wiltshire by developers for community recreational use - might be found to fund the 0.8 acre park.

Cllr Clewer warned that the site’s future rests on the outcome of a contamination survey which will determine its development value.

“But it clearly won’t be suited to housing the minute you put a custody unit next door,” he said.

“Because it’s nice and high up, people could go up there and have lunch with a bit of a view.”

Cllr Clewer is campaigning for Wiltshire, which owns the site, to use the other end for extra railway parking and Cllr Walsh supports that idea because it would reduce pressure on surrounding residential roads.

Anyone wanting to comment can email john.walsh@wiltshire.gov.uk.

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