THE revised plans for the Fisherton Street facade of the first phase of the Maltings re-development are a definite improvement.

But does this go far enough?

The rear exterior of the design remains bland and mediocre, while overall the building is still attempting to contain the same amenities on a very small site: a gym, an 86-bedroom hotel, the vitally important and much used library – and now in addition a new cafe.

I was very impressed in June when a number of councillors on the Wiltshire Strategic Planning Committee acknowledged what Historic England had described as a ‘missed design opportunity’, and Wiltshire’s own Principal Conservation Officer had summarised as ‘a large mass of development of weak design which makes limited contribution to the area.’

Against all the odds, the proposal was rejected in favour of a more ambitious architectural and cultural vision for Salisbury.

Once again at this month’s Salisbury Planning Committee meeting the same three councillors who had previously voted against the poor initial design argued for a more radical rethink.

Once again, they were overridden by the same five councillors intent on rushing through the current improved design in favour of short term gain.

It is not enough to pay lip service to the idea of a Cultural Quarter.

Realising a strategic vision that will genuinely enhance the lives of future generations in Salisbury still requires more ambition.

We can only hope that before reaching their final decision, the Strategic Planning Committee will push this further and request a more radical rethink of the already improved design.

Judy Adams