A major project to reduce flood risk and improve biodiversity and green space in Salisbury is set to progress after planning permission was granted for the first phase of the scheme.
The River Park project is a partnership project between the Environment Agency and Wiltshire Council that is set to transform the city of Salisbury. Partly funded by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, National Highways and supported by Salisbury City Council, the scheme will deliver essential flood defences reducing the risk of flooding to 350 properties along with new habitat space for wildlife and green space for people to enjoy.
Construction on the first phase will begin early in 2022 and will last for approximately two years.
Councillor Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Development Control, Strategic Planning and Climate Change, Wiltshire Council, said: “The Salisbury River Park scheme is at the heart of the Salisbury Central Area Framework which helps shape the future of the city centre and enable it to respond to challenges such as climate change and flood risk.
“This first phase will provide critical flood prevention measures and environmental improvements in Salisbury’s central car park, the Ashley Road Open Space and Fisherton Recreation Ground.
“It forms part of a wider £23 million investment that will also see new habitat and a variety of amenity improvements that will help biodiversity to thrive and people to be able to connect with the environment.”
Councillor Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene and Flooding, Wiltshire Council, added: “This scheme also has a significant transport element to it too including a new bridge over the River Avon, enhanced and new pedestrian and cycle routes, improvements to pedestrian and cycle infrastructure and changes to the coach park. These improvements will provide residents and visitors with access to new green spaces and enable them to spend more quality and enjoyable time in the area.”
Andy Wallis, Environment Agency Project Manager said: “This is fantastic news for such an important project for Salisbury. This is a key milestone for the project, and we look forward to getting started on the construction work in the new year.”