Salisbury Cathedral Close Preservation Society


SCCPS News - July 2018

Planning Application - Christmas Market In The Close

Discussions have been going on since November 2017 about splitting up and extending the Salisbury Christmas Market into The Cathedral Close. At that time, the Trustees of the Society raised several concerns/objections to this with Dean & Chapter which can be summarised as:

  1. Commercial intrusion into The Close, a reason why the Society has objected to planning applications in the past at Arundells and Mompesson House
  2. The scale of the commercial intrusion and its duration – since Dean & Chapter are talking of up to 50 stalls for up to six weeks, including set-up and dismantling
  3. (1) and (2) above run counter to the Society’s objects of preservation and protection of the nature of The Close
  4. Noise intrusion with the Market playing music, running generators,
  5. increased traffic, etc., in a predominantly residential area Increased traffic and traffic congestion, with set-up and dismantling, stocking and re-stocking and comings and goings of stall holders
  6. Damage to grass and trees in the churchyard, since the cabins will sit on the grass for about six weeks, in winter.

On 11th April, Planning Application 18/03096/FUL was registered with the Wiltshire planning authority.


The Trustees have submitted comments and objections to the Planning Application. We repeated our previous concerns about destroying this island of tranquillity around the Cathedral and thus losing a unique asset of the City of Salisbury.

A key planning consideration is that the Christmas Market will be in the curtilage of the Cathedral, a Grade 1 listed building, and in The Salisbury conservation area. This requires the planning authority to “pay attention to preserving and enhancing the character and appearance of the conservation area.” Salisbury Cathedral Close is also a residential area unlike other Cathedrals. Exeter, Winchester, and Bath Abbey which are cited as examples of hosting Christmas markets are each in the heart of busy commercial areas. They are no sensible comparisons to Salisbury.


At the very end of the consultation period it transpired that the applicants wanted to relocate the market from the Guildhall Square into The Close rather than expand it as stated in their application. In addition to creating the dis-benefit of damaging the unique setting of The Close it would also create a dis-benefit in the commercial centre of Salisbury by reducing activity there.


The Society is especially grateful to Historic England for getting involved in this controverisal matter.


A temporary change of use has been granted, albeit with conditions. We understand that the applicants are not going to make use of this conditional persmission.


The following links give access to a selection of relevant documents:


Link to the Society's first submission

Link to the Society's second submission

Link to the Society's third submission

SCCPS letter to Historic England

Objection by Miss S. Eward, retired Librarian & Archivist of Salisbury Cathedral.

Planning Authority Decision
Planning Officer's Report

This planning application has proved hghly controversial. As of 05/06/18 there have been 96 submissions; the overwhelming majority of these are objections.


A new guide book to Salisbury Cathedral Close

Published by the Society

Guide Book Flyer

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In Memoriam John Wort


The Society mourns the death of its past Chairman, John Wort, who served as a Trustee from 2000 and as Chairman from 2008 until 2016. When John retired back to his home town of Salisbury he joined The Society because he was interested in the care of The Close. Sir Robin Ibbs invited him to join the Committee, then become Vice Chairman and later John succeeded Sir Robin Ibbs as the Society’s Chairman. John’s calm manner, sound common sense and firmness maintained the respect with which the Society’s views were held with a succession of Chapter Clerks. Among his principal achievements was the Society’s response to the Cathedral’s master plan. The Society received a warm, hand written note from the Dean for its response to the Master Plan and that was certainly not because the Society had agreed with everything. He strengthened the membership of the Board with his invitations and its stability by his chairmanship and great sense of humour; it was always a pleasure to attend the Society’s Trustee meetings. He was always generous in his encouragement of the efforts of others and was much missed when he resigned in 2016.

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In Memoriam Brenda Theodora MacKechnie - Jarvis

We are sorry to report the death of Brenda Mackechnie-Jarvis, who died on August 20, 2017. Together with her husband Charles they were founder members as well as committee members of the SCCPS. Both had a keen interest in the Close and lived at Number 9 for some years having previously lived in London where they brought up their family. They later moved from the Close to Milford Mill Road and enjoyed the extensive and beautiful garden.

During her time as member of the SCCPS Committee, she gave well considered opinions about the changes to traffic management proposed by the then Dean. She readily took on the administrative responsibilities of the Committe. Brenda was the most practical of people and always optimistic.

Her determination to maintain her fitness, particularly of walking, despite the pain and discomfort she experienced in doing so, reflected her positive view of life. She made countless cakes for many good causes as well as the SCCPS and was always ready to help and support those in need. She elected to join a small group of elderly people who were offered the chance of studying GSE Latin which she greatly enjoyed and continued to attend and contribute to the classes until very shortly before her death.




In Memoriam Ronald C H Briggs

The Society has been sad to learn of the death of Ronald Briggs on 28 December 2016. He was a founding member of its committee and played a very active role in promoting its early campaigns. Ronald served for a period as the Societ's Chairman. Long after his retirement from this role he continued as an active contributor.







At the October (2016) meeting of Trustees:

  • It was agreed to submit a response to Wiltshire Council concerning the Dean & Chapter's Revised Master Plan.
    Click this link to view the current draft response. (view...)
    Members are invited to contribute their comments to the SCCPS Trustees prior to submission.

    The revised master plan summary can be viewed via this link (view...)

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Mrs MacKechnie - Jarvis
Mrs MacKechnie - Jarvis
September 2016


Ronald C H Briggs