Those of you who keep an eye on the Salisbury Journal may have picked up on Highways England’s plans to set up a Community Forum to engage with those bodies and, possibly, some specific individuals who might be able to contribute too it. Understandably, it isn’t open to everyone, as that would have been too unwieldy and would have been a nightmare to organise.
The Parish Council will be represented on the Forum, which meets for the first time, in Amesbury, on Thursday 1st February 2018; although we have not yet received a formal confirmation of this from Highways England. Back in September, you will recall their arrangements were equally chaotic and last minute. More importantly, we haven’t yet see Terms of Reference for the group, or an Agenda for the forthcoming meeting. As soon as we do, we will make you aware of as much as we can through the medium of this website, with key bits of information (such as this notice) posted on the village noticeboard. Please be aware that there may be too much information to make it all available on the noticeboard, so please ask a Parish Councillor to help you get access to it if you don’t have your own internet connection.
We understand that one of the key things that Highways England want to use the Forum for is to understand what they term “legacy issues”. This means the sorts of things they can do mitigate the effects of road-building and the road on the local community. These are likely to impact on issues at all levels. Some will affect the whole community from Amesbury to Berwick Down and a mile or two north or south, some will affect Winterbourne Stoke and Amesbury lying on the direct path of the A303, others will affect villages further north and south of the road and others will affect those with businesses (farms, pubs, petrol stations, etc) lying on the path of the road. The Parish Council is likely to wish to have input on most, if not all, of these (the exception might be those issues that ONLY effect those communities outside the Parish) and we wish to put forward the consensus view of the village.
When it comes to the village, based on what has happened during other roadbuilding schemes, it might be possible to get Highways England to assist with schemes that a small village like ours might otherwise be unable to afford; for instance by making use of unused or unwanted construction materials that might otherwise cost money to remove from site. The trpes of schemes we have had suggested by villagers already include:
- A small, multi-purpose “village hall” or room (s) that could be used for meetings, small events, changing room, etc.
- A playing field/football pitch/events area
- Village allotments
- A village orchard
- A new wood
- Narrow the A303 east of the village up to the new connection with the A360, construct a protected (ie physically separated) bridle path/cycle trail that links directly to Stonehenge without the need to cross the A303, or the A360, at grade.
- Create green bridges (rather than conventional bridges) across the new A303 wherever Byways cross the road within the Parish and eastward to Stonehenge. These encourage the movement of wildlife and people in the landscape.
- Help in promoting new businesses and diversification of existing ones; if needed.
The idea being to make use of land freed up by the removal of the A303 to the west of Scotland Lodge Farm and the route to the east of the village. We suspect that there are many other ideas out there and we want to hear them.
Please don’t add your ideas as comments to this post – they will be deleted! Instead, pop across to the Forum (register if needed) and add your comments here: How Can the Village Benefit From the Bypass
If you want to have a say, but don’t want to do it online, please just pass your point to the Parish Clerk, or a Parish Councillor, in writing.