JUST when it appeared that an agreement for how Devizes Market Place should be used was getting closer a new spanner has been thrown in the works.

Devizes Area Board was told by Wiltshire Council leader Philip Whitehead that a new option for a more flexible mix between parking and community use could throw up legal issues.

In October Devizes town clerk Simon Fisher came up with an eleventh hour option for the Market Place to be split into three zones rather than just the two that had previously been suggested.

He proposed a scheme where paid-for parking would be at the fountain end of the square with community space at The Shambles end but with the new feature of a central area which could be used for either depending on demand.

But at the area board was told that although this plan had the backing of the town council it was not proceeding as easily as hoped with Wiltshire Council.

Cllr Whitehead said: “Once the Market Place is transferred to Devizes Town Council it would be owned by Devizes Town Council and Wiltshire Council would lease back the area for parking.

“The proposed flexibility in the area used for parking was difficult as you have to have defined liability so that people were protected.”

But the area board was told that Wiltshire Council solicitors were working to find a solution to this issue.

Earlier Mr Fisher told the meeting that the other part of the asset transfer from Wiltshire to the town council had gone ahead.

This means that the town council now runs The Shambles indoor market and Thursday market along with taking over responsibility for play areas, litter bins collection and open spaces.

He told the meeting: “All services have been transferred, apart from the Market Place.” But he said the principle of the flexible idea had been accepted.