On 15th October 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP answered a written question from Sir Desmond Swayne MP on leaseholds within the precincts of Salisbury Cathedral:
Sir Desmond Swayne (New Forest West): To ask the Honourable Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what the policy of the Commissioners is on renewal of leaseholds within the precincts of Salisbury Cathedral; and if she will make a statement.
Dame Caroline Spelman: Lease renewals within the Close at Salisbury are a matter for the Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral and the Church Commissioners do not therefore have a policy on this matter.
The Chapter at Salisbury Cathedral sought the Church Commissioners consent under the Cathedrals Measure 1999 for a proposal to be offered to qualifying tenants. The Church Commissioners acknowledge that the Dean and Chapter have undertaken all due diligence in respect of this proposal but were unable to approve it without a quantified assessment of its impact on the Cathedral’s mission.
Since that date the Third Estates Commissioner has met with the Dean and representatives of Chapter in September and has written to the Chapter recognising the difficulties in making this assessment.
Following these discussions, we understand that the Chapter at Salisbury is intending to review the matter.