CONSTRUCTION has now started on the £27million Salisbury River Park project.

The scheme aims to reduce flood risk to more than 350 homes and businesses in Salisbury, create two hectares of enhanced riverside habitat for the benefit of wildlife, remove obstructions to allow fish migration to continue upstream and the creation of 13 hectares of public open space, including enhanced foot and cycle.

The Salisbury River Park project is a collaboration between the Environment Agency, Wiltshire Council, Salisbury City Council and Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Ron Curtis, Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager at The Environment Agency said: “The start of construction is a really important milestone for the Salisbury River Park. This is the first step in providing better flood protection for the city.”

Salisbury Journal:

What work will be done

In the initial stages of work, the River Avon channel in the Central Car Park will be dewatered to enable work to start in the river channel.

Excavation work will also start in Central Car Park and Fisherton Recreation Ground.

A temporary play area will be built in Ashley Road Open Space.

Foundation works will also start at Ashley Road for the construction of a flood defence wall.

Salisbury Journal:

Temporary removal of parking spaces

The works will also mean parking spaces at Central Car Park will be temporarily removed to allow space for a site compound and ensure public safety.

Several footpaths and cycle paths will be diverted, where they are adjacent to the works, while the work takes place.

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene and Flooding, Wiltshire Council, added: “Creating sustainable environments is a priority within Wiltshire Council’s Business Plan and the Salisbury River Park project fully embraces the delivery of this aim. I’m really excited to see this project take shape and provide a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Relocation of allotment shop 

Works will also start this month to relocate the allotment shop on Fisherton Recreation Ground, which will be moved into some temporary buildings at Fisherton Farm allotments on the opposite side of Fisherton Recreation Ground, until a decision is made on a more permanent building.

Once the allotment shop has been relocated, Salisbury City Council will repurpose the allotment shop and existing toilets into a concession stand and fully accessible toilets, which will include baby change facilities and a changing places toilet.

Cllr Annie Riddle said: “Salisbury City Council are delighted to see this next phase of works begin which will show the exciting transformational work of this project – enhancing the environment but also providing a delightful area for our residents and visitors to enjoy one of Salisbury’s great river assets.” 

Helping economic recovery 

Paddy Bradley, CEO Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This exciting and necessary initiative is a wonderful way to protect the beautiful and historic city of Salisbury. In addition to ensuring 350 homes and businesses are saved from the trauma and disruption of flooding, the scheme will also plant 600 trees, reinvigorate the area’s wildlife habitat as well as opening up further cycle and footpaths. The overall aesthetics of the area will be improved and undoubtedly encourage greater tourism, which in turn, will assist with the economic recovery and growth of the city.”

Completion date 

It is anticipated that the main construction works will be completed in spring 2024.


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