A PLANNING committee meeting did its best to rival Handforth Parish Council last night, with a farcical start.

Held over Microsoft Teams, the meeting began with points of order and discussion around Salisbury City Council's response to Wiltshire Local Plan Review consultation

After Councillor Dr Mark McClelland, who represents the St Francis and Stratford Ward, had finished speaking, a member of the public proceeded to shout "Tory ****" out loud.

As this meeting was held over Microsoft Teams, this person was able to remain anonymous, by not sharing their name and not having their camera on.

The whole meeting was also more or less declared irrelevant by Cllr Matthew Dean, who said decisions about local plans have already been made anyway and that nothing is going to be completely rewritten.

Leader of Salisbury City Council Matthew Dean near to the scene of the suspected nerve agent attack in the Maltings, Salisbury, as police and members of the armed forces probe the attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Pic

Cllr Matthew Dean

One stage, a member of the public present called Louis Hodgkinson was confused with Louis Walsh by a councillor on more than one occasion.

The former X-Factor judge taking an interesting in Salisbury development planning?

Within the Wiltshire Local Plan review, the "planning for Salisbury" document sets out information including a proposed scale of growth (additional new homes and employment land, 2016 to 2036), a place shaping priorities to guide development (these play a central role in developing planning policies and proposals for development at each place), and preferred development sites - the justification for these is set out in an accompanying Site Selection Report.

The committee voted to oppose development of Site 6 - off Downton Road, but did not oppose the adjacent Site 7, on the other side of Downton Road.

They also voted to support a housing development at Quidhampton Quarry (aka ‘Imerys’).

Councillor Mark McClelland

Councillor Mark McClelland

Cllr McClelland said: "It was fantastic to see the Planning Committee of Salisbury City Council oppose housing development on Site 6, north of Downton Road. This site would see Britford swallowed up by Salisbury.

"It was less welcome that the committee decided not to oppose the adjacent Site 7, which along with Site 6 would increase congestion on the Harnham Gyratory.

"It was also disappointing to see the committee give its backing to housing development of Quidhampton Quarry, which has already been rejected by Wiltshire Council due to the impact on transport and biodiversity.

"We cannot continue adding new housing developments to Salisbury without tackling our chronic congestion problems with a bypass or outer relief road."

These issues will all now go to the Full City Council Meeting on Monday, March 8.

For more information, click here.

Cllr John Farquhar, Chairman of the Planning Committee, has been contacted for comment.

Lib Dem and Labour councillors have also been contacted for comment.

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