WITH all of the debate about the latest Wiltshire Council housing plans and likely fate of individual locations, there is an elephant in the room that everyone seems to be ignoring, which is what to do with the Churchfields industrial estate.

Page 8 of the planning report specifically states that ‘this means fulfilling the potential of three important opportunity sites (the first being) Churchfields Employment Area’.

In addition, on page 9, the Place Shaping Priorities that are designed to influence the decision making process include the Churchfields site as one of the key priorities, PSP6.

Yet within the detailed plans themselves the issue is completely ignored! There is no strategy at all to address the most important challenge that faces Salisbury as a city.

Relocating the industrial site and replacing it with housing / hotels / conference facilities will re energise the city as a whole, enable a true transport hub to be established, reduce lorry traffic through the city and connect Fisherton Street with the rest of the city centre.

The whole issue is just treated as ‘too difficult’ and Wiltshire Council is hoping to sweep the matter under the carpet. In the report there is mention of ‘contamination issues’, but these are not quantified. My understanding is that there has never been an environmental assessment into the site, so we do not actually know the extent of any contamination, it is pure conjecture.

Let us not forget that the majority of usage is not really industrial anyway, but mostly car showrooms and trade outlets.

The obvious long-term solution is not to just ignore the situation and hope it will go away, because it wont!

Andy Campbell

Folkestone Road, Harnham

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