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Who Pays for This?

(March 23, 2015)

The market town of Warminster faces an uncertain future that could last months if not years as the work by various groups of civic leaders leave residents increasingly worried about a repeat of the chaos and the impact of the last town centre improvement.

"It is in black and white," says town councillor Paul Macdonald. "There is no council 'pot of money for Warminster campus'.

"So where is the money? It could take months if not years to sort this out. There will be a lot of disquiet at the possible answers?"

A working group of town councillors and others are currently presenting a consultation about a Localism Act Neighbourhood Plan.

It includes a new road past the cottage hospital and a primary school removing a fire station, college and health buildings, and a pedestrian and cycle friendly thoroughfare in its wake.

A 'shadow' group of Wiltshire Unitary councillors and officers are working with some town councillors and others on a plan to set up a 'campus' that is now checking the ownership of the land and properties in a wide area around the central car park.

This part of the town is the home of the police, ambulance, library, tourist. registration and GP services.

The Warminster Shadow Community Operations Board working on the campus project notes of their last meeting show that they are looking at the development opportunities available for Warminster.

Developers' cash from a town centre 'regeneration project' is the way forward for this 'Shadow' group

The notes say 'it was clarified that the council does not have a reserved pot of money for Warminster campus: rather it is part of a regeneration project with plenty of potential for Warminster'.

"The mere mention of the words community hospital in these notes were brought to me by a concerned resident," adds Cllr. Macdonald.

"There is quite clearly in my view a strong need for the public to take a wider interest in what Wiltshire Council is doing and how the new road in the neighbourhood plan working group document fits in."

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