Important to make right use of space

SEVERAL times in the past few months we have been reminded that, in Salisbury, we have a lower percentage of empty shops than many other cities and towns.

Unfortunately this does not equate with a wide and varied range of retailers for the simple reason that our empty premises have been filled with tea, coffee and chain restaurant outlets that compete with our local restaurateurs using cheap, outsourced foods.

Therein is the rub - our local restaurants source assured products from local producers, and when such restaurants finally succumb to the high power competition (going the way of our grocers under pressure from supermarkets) it will not just be their jobs gone but, in all probability, that of many of their suppliers as well.

We may also find that the empty premises percentage increases unless, of course, a few more phone shops move in.

Once the Maltings development gets under way, with the promised restaurants there, we may find the loss of our local restaurants accelerates.

A gloomy picture, but it seems that Salisbury only wants to cater for the tourists and not the residents of the city and surrounding area.

Brian Ford, Salisbury

I FREQUENTLY pass through the Maltings area, perhaps calling at the coach station, the library or a few shops, particularly Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

All this, it seems, is now under threat.

Having a car park often half empty is not a good thing.

One thing some of us suggested last year was to put the displaced bus stops there.

No, we have to have them in our already crowded streets, which is inconvenient to drivers and pedestrians alike.

Don’t we have enough empty shops, including a couple at least in the Maltings, already?

There is an argument for bigger shops in the area (perhaps Asda and/or Primark), but to the west and/or east please.

I am not alone in now avoiding Southampton Road as more shops cause more traffic delays.

The proposed Sainsbury’s development ranks with our road to nowhere, and of the five park and rides, some are never half full. Years ago we went to a meeting with ideas of bus/rail station with parking, which didn’t happen. Please planners/councillors, talk to locals what is needed and what will attract tourists we have years of both groups being ignored.

How about going over the river from Churchfields sensitively pending a proper sensitive ring road for a start?

Jim Radford, Salisbury

I HOPE we are granted an Asda in Salisbury but it would be nice if they could build a little nearer the city centre.

It’s about time we had a choice of where to shop; competition is what we need here. I have shopped in an Asda store and I could not fault it in any way. The prices are good and the staff are very helpful. Good old Asda.

A Green, Salisbury

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