By Insider 

City Council Planning ZOOM!

Okay. Kids are back at school, folk are mostly back at work and things generally seem to be getting a bit closer to normal than we’ve been used to lately.

Even the library’s open part-time. Not the city council though. Apparently they’re not planning to be back in the Guildhall until May 2021. Before then, they’ll be conducting meetings from home. At least, that seems to be the idea.

So, tonight, we have Cllr Corbin (Tom) in the chair. He’s sitting in front of a vast world map and it’s tempting to concentrate on that, but no. There’s an application to build a bungalow in Highbury Avenue, only WC have already rejected it twice. And there’s been a long list of objections from neighbours concerning potential light and noise pollution, bedroom windows being too close, the drive too long and, being gravel, unacceptably noisy. And what about that proposed acoustic fence? ‘Horrendous!’ somebody says. No. Definitely not popular.

The proposed replacement of the two-storey house at Carmelite Way isn’t popular either. They want to alter access to the site and this will involve changing the position of the garden walls. Also the design’s too modern and isn’t ‘aesthetically pleasing.’ And isn’t there a risk of flooding?

The plan to add a ground floor, side and first floor rear extension to a house in Moberly Road? Hasn’t it already been rejected because it was considered over-development?

They’re not happy with the proposal to impose a waiting restriction where Coombe Road connects with Francis Way. It would mean a proliferation of double yellow lines ,and isn’t there already legislation to restrict parking?

And the proposed waiting restriction for Rawlence Road isn’t popular either. Nor the one for Francis Way. Aren’t people already ignoring the double yellows and don’t buses have problems?

And won’t it only get worse?

Alright. It’s gone eight, the meeting’s over and I think it’s time to go home. Oops, but I am at home, aren’t I? Silly me.

Council, September 7 We have an unusual agenda tonight. It involves eight different policies which the council is planning to discuss, including members’ code of conduct, standing orders, bribery, dealing with persistent and vexatious complaints, dispensations, members’ and employees’ protocol and Christmas.

Good. Should be interesting (actually none of these got a mention apart from Christmas). There are no councillors’ questions, no declarations of interest and no dispensations.

The NALC – National Association of Local councils is mentioned – and we’re invited to give a round of applause to Charlotte who managed the whole Teams business (allowing the meetings to be held from councillors’ homes) and got it up and running. So well done, Charlotte.

Mention is made of the amount of litter which seems to have increased locally and, particularly shocking, has included a large number of discarded face masks.

But Downton Road’s getting resurfaced and the camping and caravan clubs reopening – which should help encourage visitors to Salisbury, water bottles are being refilled in the Market Place and the central area framework plan’s been approved. They have lots of ideas on activities in the city centre which Cllr Nettle’s going to talk over with WC.

Finance and Governance? Nothing to report. Personnel? Same. Services? Same.

Cllr Jackson mentions that the Christmas fair and markets are all set to go. But is there really going to be enough retail interest to justify 40 chalets? They need to take Coronavirus into account in their planning, as folk will still have to sit in bubbles. But there’s the pantomime to look forward to, isn’t there? Cinderella. Wasn’t it wonderful last year? Sorry. No pantomime. It’s been put off till Christmas 2021.

So if there’s no panto, aren’t people likely to go elsewhere for their Christmas experience? It’s not good news.

But they’re going to do their best. The market won’t be affected. They’ll have covered seating outside the Guildhall with Santa, story-telling and face-painting, although Cllr Nettle admits they’ll still be losing revenue, and Cllr Dalton’s worried about security. Cllr Walsh mentions the possibility of binning the Christmas market.

Still, Cllr Corbin (Caroline) points out, Bournemouth’s not doing its usual Christmas show either, so Salisbury could still benefit. The outlook’s not that bad.
We shall see.