The Salisbury River Park Masterplan, a major planning document that sets out a framework for considering how the area and the River Park will develop in the future, has been unanimously endorsed by Wiltshire Council's Strategic Planning Committee.
The endorsed Masterplan covers the areas from the Fisherton Recreation Ground and Ashley Road Open Space towards Queen Elizabeth Gardens following the course of the River Avon.
It lays out the foundations for delivering the River Park which will boost the local economy by helping to stimulate economic growth and strengthening communities as well as:
- Providing key flooding infrastructure that protects over 350 homes and businesses within the city centre as well as enabling the delivery of the Maltings and Central Car Park for regeneration
- Delivering 13-hectare – the equivalent of 18 football pitches – of high-quality open space to be enjoyed by the community
- Planting in excess of 500 new trees and providing three hectares of new native wildlife habitat
- Helping to regenerate Salisbury through unlocking public land for homes and jobs
- Enhancing the key tourist arrival point for Salisbury
- Improving access to the city and countryside for walking and cycling away from roads
Having been endorsed as a significant material planning consideration, the Masterplan will now be taken into account when making decisions on planning applications on any future proposals for the Salisbury River Park and applications within its fringe areas which could help contribute to delivering the plan's objectives.
Cllr Nick Botterill, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for Strategic Planning, said: "The Salisbury River Park will provide a lasting legacy of riverside green space and urban wildlife habitat for people of Salisbury and its visitors to enjoy well into the future, so it is important there is a comprehensive Masterplan to support these transformational improvements.
"The River Park is also the centrepiece of the Salisbury Central Area Framework which provides a cohesive vision that seeks to make the city centre a more vibrant, attractive and sustainable place."
The Masterplan has been developed in conjunction with the Environment Agency, Salisbury City Council, the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Natural England and incorporates comments received from the public consultation held between 19 November 2020 and 8 January 2021.
The partnership with Natural England ensured the special ecological qualities of the area are protected and enhanced.
During the consultation, local people were also asked to comment on draft detailed proposals for the first phase of the River Park providing critical flood prevention measures and environmental improvements in Salisbury's Central Car Park, the Ashley Road Open Space, and Fisherton Recreation Ground.
Funding for the majority of phase 1 has been secured through Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Flood Defence Grant in Aid, and Local Levy funding from the Wessex Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.
A planning application for the first phase was submitted by the Environment Agency earlier this year and it will be considered by the Local Planning Authority shortly.