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No thought for traders in Market Place plans
3:54pm Wednesday 27th February 2013 in Salisbury Letters
WE read cllr Clewer’s letter (Postbag, February 21) where he indicates that works are likely to commence on the redevelopment of the Market Place from next month.
Well this has come as somewhat of a surprise to me as a business owner and direct neighbour of the Market Place.
We have he no contact at all from cllr Clewer or the council on this matter - over what is going to be done and when or what arrangements have been made for access and deliveries etc.
The timing of these works clearly has not been decided with any consideration for the businesses. For the restaurants and pubs it's going to be bad enough permanently losing the very popular evening parking on the square, but for the works to commence at the beginning of the busy spring and summer season is going to be devastating for my business and others and could put jobs and possibly businesses at risk.
My customers have already had to put up with building works for the past two summers due to a fire in the Market Inn in March 2011. Wiltshire Council, can we please just have this summer without any building interruption?
If cllr Clewer had any respect for jobs and businesses in this city, he would look at a time when such development would have least impact. Although we have not been told, I can assume that the works will take around six months to complete, so the best time to start would be mid September or early January.
It's taken four years to get to this point, surely a few more months cannot do any harm?
Diners want to be able to sit outside and watch the world go by during the spring and summer and don't want the noise and dust from a construction site around them.
No time is a good time for any building works but good timing for damage limitation is essential.
STEVE DAUWALDER, La Mollina Restaurant, Market Place, Salisbury
IN response to Richard Clewer’s remarks, I find it impossible to believe that Salisbury’s businesses and market traders are happy with less than a month’s notice of how they are to be affected.
Whose idea was it anyway to start work in March in time for the pick up in spring trade around our coffee shops?
Surely it does not take a genius to see that starting the work in January would minimise disruption whilst utilising the quiet period following Christmas and New Year festivities, especially around the west and southern edges of the Market Place.
The Guildhall disabled parking issue has been raised numerous times in these pages and at area board meetings but, alas, it seems that the allocation of extra spaces is being used as a reason for it to be acceptable to remove those bays from the Guildhall Square – the fact that it was identified that there were not enough disabled spaces and so more had to be provided has been a little overlooked.
At the recent drop-in at the Guildhall, the proposed plans at the Maltings and Central Car Park redevelopment included the removal of all long stay parking. With a new provision of about half the current number of spaces, all short term only. The question is how many stores will come from elsewhere within Salisbury and do we only want short term visitors to our new shopping complex or will they just stick to convenience and drive to other out of town shopping centres and places with cheaper or free parking?
I for one feel that the residents of Salisbury have been speaking up very loudly and are not being listened to, certainly these letters pages seem to reflect this. Yes, we need to move forward together to keep the city attractive to shoppers and tourists alike but it has to strike a sensible balance and if the people’s voices are not enough then, yes, politics does come into the future of Salisbury and yes the elections are close. Politics is all about different views being aired and giving people the chance to consider them.
TOM CORBIN, Bemerton Heath
MY family has been shopping in the brilliant Salisbury market almost every week for the last six years, and I can’t believe what is happening, or not happening, with the development plans.
I totally agree that the market square needs to be resurfaced, but not telling the traders where they will be moving to is a joke.
I spoke with Lyn from Greenslades fishmongers this morning and she has been told that there is no guarantee that she will have water and power when they move.
Seriously? For a fish stall with fresh fish and a refrigerated display?
It’s so simple to resolve. All of the traders should have been given ample notice to their new location, with the same facilities that they currently need.
Then the council (whichever is responsible) should print flyers for the traders to give out, and post maps of the new layout.
Then they should take out ads in the Journal showing the new layout. The council should be responsible for all this because this move is being forced on the traders not the other way round.
See? I’ve solved the problem easily. All you have to do is implement it. And I won't even charge a consultancy fee.
STEVE ROBINSON, Amesbury