ALMOST four times as many people opposed plans for the recently approved first phase of the Maltings than backed them, Wiltshire Council documents show.

Of the 43 members of the public who wrote to the council as part of its consultation phase for the redevelopment of the former British Heart Foundation site, 34 objected to the plans, with just nine voicing support.

Last Wednesday, Wiltshire councillors gave Haskoll's plans – which includes a 86-room hotel, gym, and library – the green light, despite these concerns raised by locals.

Many of the objections submitted related to the temporary provisions given to library, which will be housed on the ground floor of the development.

Representatives said they were unhappy with the new size of the library, which will be smaller that the currently occupied space on Castle Street.

Alison Brodrick, of St Edwards Meadow, said: "The current Salisbury library is well used and much bigger than the one proposed as part of this scheme. Consequently it will be impossible to offer the same excellent library services and facilities that are available in the existing building.

"The present library is well situated, convenient for the city centre and close to the main bus stops. As an elderly and regular user of the library who travels into Endless Street by bus, I will struggle to carry my books to and from the proposed site in Fisherton Street."

Another to raise concern was Nicola Lipscombe of Salisbury Area Greenspace Partnership.

She said: "This is a key site and one that will set the standard for future development in the Maltings. The council’s lack of concern about the use of a [more than one] design approach in this historic part of the city, particularly on the prominent corner of Fisherton Street and Malthouse Lane – and their apparent willingness to ignore the master plan which has only recently been approved, could set an unacceptable precedent and jeopardise the quality and appropriateness of future development."

Nevertheless, Linda Canning was one of the nine to support the scheme.

She said: "The plans appear to be attractive and in keeping with the area. Once completed and in use [they] should bring much needed footfall to this part of the city."

Another was Deborah Fox, of Fisherton Mill.

She added: "This revised application is such an improvement on the previous design and I would like to add my support to it in the hope that it will gain permission this time and our city can start to see the physical improvements it so desperately needs."

As reported, these new designs came just a few months after the original proposal were labelled as “appalling” by county planning chiefs.