Salisbury River Park construction begins

Construction has begun on a £27 million transformational scheme which aims to reduce flood risk to over 350 homes and businesses in Salisbury.

It will also create 2 hectares of enhanced riverside habitat for the benefit of wildlife, remove obstructions to allow fish migration to continue upstream and create 13 hectares of high quality public open space.

Another benefit will be enhanced foot and cycle paths that benefit residents and visitors.

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

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 the Central Car Park and Fisherton Recreation Ground. A temporary play area will be built in Ashley Road Open Space. Foundation works will also commence at Ashley Road for the construction of a flood defence wall.

Works will also start to relocate the allotment shop on Fisherton Recreation Ground. This is initially being 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. This will involve the existing gate entrance being widened to allow the buildings to be delivered.

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 (which provides a changing bench, hoist and enough space for a carer). This investment will provide facilities that will ensure that every member of our community can enjoy the new River Park when completed.

The works will continue to impact on Central Car Park as parking spaces will be temporarily removed to allow space for a site compound and to ensure public safety. Several footpaths and cycle paths will be diverted, where they are adjacent to the works, and reopened whenever it is safe to do so. Diversions will be clearly marked, and staff will be on site to provide assistance. The scheme, once completed, will provide major improvements to the footpaths and cycle paths in the area.

 

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.

“We know the devastating impact that flooding can have, which is why protecting people and communities is our top priority. Working with our partners we’re really excited about the added benefits this scheme will bring for people and wildlife in Salisbury.”

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene and Flooding, Wiltshire Council, said: “It’s great news that works have started on this exciting project. 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.”

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.”

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 foot paths.

“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.”

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

Further information on the project can be found at www.salisburyriverparkphase1.com

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