IT is so sad to see so much anger and confused opinions voiced because the Phase 1 Planning Application for The Maltings development has the relocation of the library as its focus for public outcry.

[This outcry] is due entirely to the absence of forward public consultation and information from Wiltshire Council about how the library relocation is planned to take place, whether it is permanent or temporary, and the lack of explanation of its future facilities and operating style. The vague references to future plans to relocate the galleries in the “cultural quarter” also needs to be supplanted with specific proposals.

The planned reconstruction of Market Walk to create a strong retail mall linkage from the Maltings precinct to the Market Place will be a boost to the city’s attractiveness to public, visitors and retailers alike. The plans for that Phase 2 should be more fully explained now.

I propose that the present planning application be put on “hold” whilst Wiltshire Council provides the necessary details about the future operation of the library, making clear how it is envisaged in its new location and take into account feedback from the public and Salisbury City Council, so the final form is agreed. Thereafter, restore the process of the Phase 1 planning application for determination, with any adjustments to the designs that are appropriate.

I plan to convene a public meeting in the near future so members of the Civic Society and the general public can attend and express their views to us as a body and enable the Salisbury Civic Society to influence both the improved architecture of new buildings proposed and the preservation of library services to the community.

Anyone interested in attending such a meeting please email me at

Peter I Dunbar

Chairman, Salisbury Civic Society