COUNCILLOR Hoque is right to draw attention to the situation with regards to more retirement homes in Salisbury (Salisbury Journal, November 17), but it is not just Salisbury.

Here in Wilton there are plenty of retirement homes and other homes which are specifically for over 50s and even more now that McCarthy and Stone are building at the former Land Command site.

I am not against building homes for the elderly but what about the lack of affordable housing for young people?

I attended the recent Wiltshire Assembly Meeting on Housing on behalf of Wilton Town Council and it seems that affordable housing is a problem right across the county.

Back in the 1960s and early 70s I was on the Housing Committee of the Amesbury Rural District Council and we were building council houses all the time.

Sadly those days are gone although Wiltshire Council are building a few but nowhere enough to satisfy demand.

All young couples can do is to go to the private sector and have to pay an exorbitant rent, with the average house prices in South Wiltshire above the national average what hope is there for them in the future?

Phil Matthews, Wilton

SINCE reading the comments made by Cllr Hoque regarding Salisbury becoming a ghost town full of retirement homes, I think that this time he has hit the nail directly on the head.

We have already lost a bus station to retirement homes.

And now, what was a major employment site seems to be going the same way.

Jobs have gone and if the site is used for glorified retirement homes what impact will this have on this already dying city and how many replacement jobs are there that keep young people in the city?

Cllr Clewer’s comments has suggested these retirement homes will be a good thing, as it will release existing larger homes to the property market. If that is correct, how can most young people afford to buy these larger homes?

Retired people generally spend less than the younger generation, so What we need is affordable accommodation to bring young blood into the city that can help to transform Salisbury into a modern city, not a place full of retirement homes!

Mr Simpson, Salisbury

I was dismayed when I read Atiqul Hoque’s assertion that more retired people living in the city centre could turn Salisbury into a ghost town.

We are always being told that 60 is the new 40 and in fact anyone over 55 is eligible for a retirement flat. Most 55-year-olds are still in work and nowadays people are not longer compelled to retire at a certain age, so we see people of 60, 70 and beyond working and volunteering throughout our city.

Instead of a large office complex, dark and uninviting after 6pm and all weekend, better to have a vibrant community of people with time and energy to enjoy everything central Salisbury has to offer seven days a week.

Mr Hoque really should visit our live music and other venues on a weekend where he will meet people of all ages are enjoying themselves.

Carol Vaughan (retired and enjoying being in central Salisbury)

I AGREE with Cllr Hoque in raising the fear of turning Salisbury into a ghost town. How is it that retirement home builders can get away without having to provide some social/affordable housing?

I run Salisbury Escape Rooms just down the road from Cllr Hoque’s restaurant. Thankfully, we are booming at the moment but we rely on mixed age groups from families with children, young professionals as well as some older people to remain viable.

I have lived in Salisbury for more than 20 years and it is less ‘fuddy-duddy’ now than it was then.

We have some great facilities here for the arts and entertainment but we need a broad cross section of people to continue to make this city a great place to live life to the full... not just to grow old.

Matthew Johnson, Salisbury Escape Rooms

Is Cllr Atiqul Hoque unaware that people are living longer and will need retirement flats somewhere?

Would he like us all to be dumped out in the sticks? I for one am not going to fade away in a rural backwater. I will be one of his ‘ghosts’ tottering round his ‘ghost town’ on my zimmer and should that happen, and should I meet Mr Hoque, I might rattle my zimmer at him or even brandish my walking stick. On second thoughts I won’t.

Imagine the rush of police cars and policemen such a threat would bring streaming into Salisbury. Reinforcements would be needed from both Dorset and Hampshire. The excitement would shorten my life and those of any other ‘ghosts’ creeping past.

Tom Ridout, Salisbury

I do take issue with Cllr Atiqul Hoque’s comments in last week’s Journal headlined ‘Salisbury to become ghost city’. Development of flats within the city can only be a good thing for Salisbury. The fact these might be for people over 55 or (dare I say it, even over 70) does not change that. I would suggest slightly older people benefit the city to an even greater extent than younger ones. The majority will not be sitting in their flats wrapped up in a blanket – they will be out and about, frequenting the restaurants, theatres, supporting our cultural life, shopping in our shops and generally adding to the liveliness of the city.

Hugh Davies, Salisbury

I WELCOME and support the development of any empty buildings. Specially I’m very much in favour of this initiative of independent living developments for the over 55s and I think that is a great way of getting semi-older people to move into our city whilst they are active and working, especially as it gives these people the prospect of better and more active lives in our community for longer.

My concerns are with domiciliary care homes in the city centre as I think that we need to be careful to locate this type of accommodation where residents can enjoy a quieter life in their later years.

CLLR Atiqul Hoque, Salisbury