COUNCILLOR McClelland’s letter criticising the city council (Journal Postbag, February 14) seems to expose further splits in the Tory party. His colleagues dominate and control the council, so a public criticism was probably not welcome. He was not even at the meeting!

The council’s planning committee rightly agreed with Wiltshire council’s conservation officer, who’s objected to the plans. She states “the design appears more appropriate to a larger metropolitan city and lacks the human scale and rich architectural detail which is characteristic of Salisbury”. I couldn’t agree more! She also criticises the height of the building, referring to it breaching what’s called the '40ft Rule', which along with other comments, is what I pointed out to the committee.

The 40ft Rule, has protected our city for some 50 years. For Cllr McClelland to compare this policy against the height of the church and the old General Infirmary (opened in 1767), saying the new building would be “dwarfed” by them, is crackers and exposes his lack of planning experience and history of our medieval city.

Most would agree that Salisbury needs the investment, but never at the cost of slashing our library space by 70 per cent and moving the Young Gallery elsewhere. Our library is the second busiest in the South West. The plans before us are being rushed. When that happens, mistakes are made.

The public doesn’t want the library moved. This mood is evident. Elected councillors need to support their residents first and put their party second, not the other way about.

Cllr Brian Dalton (LibDem)

Harnham ward