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MELKSHAM Trust has set up a petition calling for an arch to be returned to the Market Place to restore the traditional character of the area.
The arch, which was originally positioned to the left of the Town Hall was demolished in 1950 as part of the repositioning of the entrance to Melksham House when Listed gate piers were also moved. The arch was used as an entrance to the Assembly Hall.
Now, with plans by Wiltshire Council to redevelop the Market Place as part of the Campus proposal it is an ideal time to restore the arch according to Richard Wiltshire, chairman of Melksham Trust. He said, “Prior to the finalising of the Market Place scheme, we are inviting people to support a petition which will be sent to Wiltshire Council.
“We welcome the proposed Campus development at Melksham House and, as part of the scheme, we would like to see the traditional character of the Market Place restored. The whole of the Market Place is a conservation area with the Town Hall Listed Grade II.
“The character of this side of the Market Place is spoilt by the gap between the Town Hall and Bailey’s, exposing the Assembly Hall metal shed roof.
“This unfortunate feature was partially redeemed by the presence of a large tree, which is now gone. A restored arch to the Town Hall, with repositioned wider entrance gate piers, and a suitable semi-mature tree would restore the character of the conservation area whilst making a grand entrance to the Campus and the Assembly Hall. It would be a great pity to miss this opportunity to enhance and restore the architectural balance of the Market Place buildings.”
To sign the petition visit https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/melksham-market-place-restoration