A NEW plan is being developed to build on the city’s strengths and “move it forward”.

A presentation was given by Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, who have been appointed by Wiltshire Council to produce a central area framework for Salisbury.

Speaking during a meeting of Salisbury Area Board last month, Katja Stille, of Tibbalds, said Salisbury had a number of strengths including its “unique heritage” and “beautiful landscape setting” as well as a “strong cultural programme, initiatives and activities” and the “range” of independent shops.

She said it was also a very “walkable city” but there were constraints which meant some sites in the city could be missed. She said: “Part of our project is making visible what is there already.”

The existing cultural offer, she said, has “great opportunities” and there were development opportunities like the Maltings. She also said there was a “big opportunity” to look at car parking and the streets and creating people friendly streets. The development of character areas in the city is also being looked at.

Themes being looked at include character and distinctiveness, open space and landscape, getting around, creating vibrancy and bringing out the qualities the city has to offer.

Ms Stille said: “We think Salisbury has a lot of fantastic opportunities. It is a beautiful city but we think it can do much better. It can do much better in terms of re-linking to the environment, to the rivers. Having Five Rivers on your doorstep, which other city has that, it is unique. But how are they used. Bringing out those qualities and activities, historic environment, we’re working on that.”

Opportunities for improving the city for pedestrians and cyclists as well as enhancing the Fisherton Street area are being looked at.

Councillor Brian Dalton said something “drastically” needed to be done about the traffic.

And Councillor Ricky Rogers said there were some “interesting ideas” but echoed the concerns over traffic particularly on the A36, adding: “We need to take a really big decision and solve that problem to let some of these initiatives fall into place.

“That is not just the Wiltshire Council, city council, local residents, the government will have to pay a big part in that with national funding.

“That is the real issue to me how do we get the traffic out of the city to enable some of those wonderful ideas to happen.”

A public consultation will take place later in the year on the framework.