South East Wales

New Abergavenny cattle mart plan, architects confirm

Sheep pens at Abergavenny livestock market
Image caption Architects have carried out a feasibility study for a mart on the outskirts of Abergavenny to replace the existing town centre site

Plans are being drawn up to build a new cattle market on the outskirts of Abergavenny, it has emerged.

An Oswestry architects firm says it has carried out a feasibility study on the outskirts of the town for a client.

This month the Welsh government agreed to Monmouthshire council's request to repeal 150-year-old laws requiring it to provide a market in the town centre.

The council, which owns the land, backs plans for a replacement mart 10 miles (16km) away near Raglan.

It says the development of the current town centre market site, which features a Morrisons supermarket and a new library, will help regenerate the town.

The proposals to sell the existing site have led to a bitter eight-year planning row.

The Keep Abergavenny Livestock Market campaign, which says the mart draws farmers and tourists into the town, had hoped local government minister Carl Sargeant would refuse the council's plans to repeal the Victorian-era laws.

Mr Sargeant agreed to lift the provisions of 19th Century laws, the Abergavenny Improvement Acts, which some had argued protected a market in the town.

A public consultation last autumn led to a high number of responses which Mr Sargeant described as "strongly held views".

Monmouthshire council has proposed building a new market on a site at Bryngwyn near Raglan but this has faced strong opposition in Abergavenny, where some traders have warned that such a move would tear the heart out of the town.

Undisclosed client

There has also been a rival private proposal to build a livestock market in Mamhilad in neighbouring Torfaen.

Now a new privately financed option has emerged to keep a mart in the Abergavenny area.

Gavin Porritt from architects Design and Planning Associates in Oswestry has confirmed it is carrying out a feasibility study on a site just outside the town.

Based on its findings, the architects will submit plans on behalf of an undisclosed client.

Monmouthshire's cabinet member for modernisation, enterprise and communications, Councillor Bob Greenland, said: "We have only just been made aware of a proposal to build a new cattle market on the edge of Abergavenny. Obviously any such plan would need to go through the planning process.

'Conceptual design'

"Our initial response, however, is that the proposal doesn't meet one of our requirements for a new market to be in the centre of the county.

"This is because it has to serve not only the farmers close to Abergavenny but also from the displaced Monmouth market and the farmers from the south that previously used Newport market.

"We have also been informed that the layout is only a conceptual design.

"It hasn't taken account of site topography, nor attempted to show any layout of the vehicle parking area.

"These aspects are important because although the notional site area may be large enough to accommodate a new livestock market, the shape of the site, together with the steepness of the access road, could well prevent the site from being viable.

"In the meantime, we will continue with our plans to provide a 21st Century livestock market near Raglan and redevelop the existing cattle market site to provide a supermarket and library to kickstart the regeneration of Abergavenny."

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