Members set Priorities for the Trust

Posted by Nobody on 23 March 2015

 The issues highlighted by members were as follows:

The Town’s Retail Offering

Great concern was expressed about the closure of Tesco’s for two reasons (a) such a large store remaining empty for any length of time and (b) the loss of the main outlet for children’s and men’s clothes.  The Trust was urged to ensure that everything was being done to assist small businesses with such factors as business rate relief and also encouraging the optimum mix of outlets.  Encouraging craft and tourist related activities was highlighted.  It was also felt that more help in the form of advice should be made available to those wishing to start up a business in the town.

Common amongst the members was a concern about the proposed changes to the Shambles Market. Members felt that they had insufficient information on the proposed changes to the stalls to judge whether it was a good or bad thing.  A specific concern was whether the changes to the top of the market where a greengrocer and butcher traded and offered local products would force them to leave the market. Members also felt that changes should include the lower end which was described as “Messy”.

Reviving the Tourist Information Centre was suggested, maybe in the renovated Shambles Market. When it was pointed out that Wiltshire Council were unlikely to fund such a venture a number of members indicated that they would be willing to act as volunteers, if such a centre were re-established.

Another proposal was that a video be made highlighting the wide retail offering available in the town.

The Assize Court

Everyone appreciated the difficulty in making progress on this issue. However, strong views were expressed about any renewal of planning permission without some guarantee of a development taking place.  It was revealing that many members felt that the building could not be saved in its entirety since it would prove uneconomic to do so. Whilst compulsory purchase was mentioned it was also acknowledged that there was no requirement for further public space in the town.

In a definite move away from previous views, many members felt that a development that retained the façade of the Courts would be an acceptable solution, perhaps with affordable housing units behind it.

The Wharf

Whist there is a proposed development plan for the Wharf (which the Trust contributed to), it has not been finalised and therefore carries little weight. The committee was urged to seek to progress this matter.

Traffic Congestion and Pollution

This was seen as a key issue for the Trust and one very closely associated with controlling development to minimise any congestion caused by new developments.


Members accepted the need for more homes, but were critical of the type of houses that had been built recently. They felt that these has resulted in more commuting out of the town and wished to see new homes meeting the needs of local people.

Heritage Buildings

It was felt that many of our fine buildings were in need of some TLC.  It was agreed that members should report specific concerns to the committee who would consider the best approach to the owner or occupier.


One group were keen to see the Trust adopt a policy of regularly planting trees around the town.

Other Issues

Other matters raised were:

  • The possibility of a rail link or the town.
  • Planting more trees in the town.
  • Improved signing and information for visitors
  • Encourage “joined-up thinking” between NHS and Social Services
  • Limiting the number of charity and coffee shops
  • Encouraging stronger representation for the town at Trowbridge.

Next Steps

The committee will be considering the outcome of the discussion and agree a plan to take many of these issues forward.

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