The Chairman Of Warminster Preservation Trust Is Concerned About The Town Centre

Saturday 11th August 2018:

In his Chairman's Report at the Annual General Meeting of the Warminster Preservation Trust, held at Teddington House, Church Street, on Thursday 9th August 2018, Chris March said he had concerns about Warminster town centre. He said he felt uneasy about the plight of two buildings.

Chris stated that the Old Town Hall is still very much in the hearts of Warminster people. "We have been talking about it for years." Chris said he had the pleasure of a conversation with Sean Reid which took place in Wetherspoons (The Bath Arms), Warminster. Chris said: "It seems Sean became the new owner of the Old Town Hall last August, when he bought it from Peter Caldwell, and there's a story how Sean came to acquire it which I won't go into. I like Sean very much. I think he's an astute businessman and more than that he is prepared to clamber about in the roof of the building. I know that with Sean Reid, and James Beanland (who runs the Boston Shaker cocktail bar and lounge in the basement), that the building is in safe hands, the roof won't be leaking. Sean must be in his fifties I guess, he's local and his family own property. They own the Transport Cafe at Nunney Catch. The whole family all live together in one large house behind the Cafe I'm told. It's interesting. I wished Sean all the best with his ownership of the Old Town Hall. But as much as I enjoyed talking to Sean I couldn't bring myself to ask him what he intends doing with the Old Town Hall. I didn't think it was for me to bombard him with questions, on that occasion, as to what he is going to do with the building, but of course that's what we all want to know - what is he going to do with the Old Town Hall?"

The other building on Chris's mind was 3 High Street (the eyesore cladded in scaffolding). Chris said it failed to sell at auction last week. According to Chris, the asking price, over £400,000 was too much. But Chris is keen to see the site purchased and developed soon. He referred to the feoffees of the Chapel of St. Lawrence. Chris said: "I know David Pollard, the Chairman of the Feoffees, but it seems some of the feoffees are understandably worried about development of 3 High Street because they fear building work will affect the stability of the chapel. The narrow access is a problem. Some of the feoffees, it seems, will be reluctant to allow work to start without assurances the chapel will not be affected." Chris went on to say: "But no-one must be allowed to stop development of the site. It has to be developed and the sooner the better. There are several interested parties involved - all have to agree before any work can start. The building is a mess. We want development. We want new housing. We want young people to come and live in the centre of the town."