THE RIVER Park masterplan has been unanimously approved by Wiltshire Council's Strategic Planning Committee.

The plan is a framework to guide the phased development of the River Park project, and it forms one of the "central pillars of the wider strategy for regeneration of Salisbury’s city centre".

It will form a green infrastructure link through the central area of Salisbury, extending to the Ashley Road/Fisherton Recreation Ground to the north, and towards Elizabeth Gardens to the south along the River Avon channels.

Once adopted it will be a material consideration in the determination of any future planning applications affecting land within the masterplan area, and there will be a presumption in favour of development.

Salisbury Journal: River Park masterplan

Key objectives

The key objectives set out in the masterplan for the delivery of the River Park include:

  • "Delivering flood mitigation within Salisbury city centre to protect existing and future businesses and residents.
  • "Enabling growth and regeneration within central Salisbury including the Maltings and Central Car Park regeneration area.
  • "Protecting and enhance the environment along the river corridor
  • "Supporting strong prosperous communities
  • "Encouraging public participation
  • "Improving access to services
  • "Contributing to healthy communities through the provision of recreation and leisure along the river corridor."


The masterplan says funding for the project will come "from a range of different sources which are being investigated by Wiltshire Council and the Environment Agency".

It adds: "Funding for the early phases of the River Park will be primarily from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and from Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA).

"Funding opportunities to deliver the latter phases of the River Park are expected to come from a range of sources, to be investigated by Wiltshire Council.

"The private sector will be expected to play its part when development falls within the River Park Interface Zone.

"The project area covers a considerable amount of land within the city centre, and there are a number of land owners who are/will need to be engaged in the delivery of the project".

Salisbury Journal: Councillor Paul Sample.

'A good plan'

Paul Sample, is the Liberal Democrat Wiltshire Councillor for Salisbury St Edmunds, spoke at the meeting, as the project "cuts right through his ward".

He said that "despite these issues of detail", it is a "good plan" and it has his support.

In his speech, he said he has received feedback from residents and there are a number of issues which he wanted to raise on behalf.

These included parking, if which he said there is a "problem" with in the city.

Cllr Sample said: "The problem is for residents living in neighbouring residential streets where there is little or no parking. In Millstream Approach, for instance, or Husseys Almshouses, Ivy Place, Avon View and Castle Street, there is almost no residential parking provision.

"The residents have enjoyed the use of the car park which will be lost in this project and they will have nowhere to park. They should be allowed to use the Central Car Park for residential car parking."

Other issues included concern about "who will maintain this area after the work is completed" - be it Salisbury City Council, Wiltshire Council or the Environment Agency.

Cllr Sample also raised the issue of rats in the area.

He said: "We have had a problem with rats in this area over the last two years, probably as a result of the Covid-19, but not helped by the blocked drains in residential streets. The masterplan includes the installation of Swift and Bat bricks. This is to be welcomed. Could I ask that we include boxes for Barn Owls and Tawny Owls under the railway bridge arches, and elsewhere, to help reduce the rat problem?"

Lastly, he said: "Finally, I understand there will be 400 new houses on this site. I hope these will be low cost – to rent and buy – so that young people can live here. If they are going to be big expensive villas for rich people or more retirement flats for the elderly I will oppose them."

To read the masterplan in full, click here.