South East Wales

Abergavenny's historic market to move as 'Kalm' campaign fails

Sheep pens at Abergavenny livestock market
Image caption Opponents to moving Abergavenny livestock market started the legal battle

Campaigners have lost a long-running legal battle to save Abergavenny's historic livestock market from closing and being moved 10 miles away.

Keep Abergavenny Livestock Market (Kalm) wanted to keep the 150-year-old market near the centre of town.

But a High Court judge rejected claims Monmouthshire council acted unlawfully.

The council will open a new market near Raglan and has already agreed to sell the old site with planning permission for a supermarket and library.

A judicial review heard Kalm had many complaints about Monmouthshire council's decision to grant planning permission in June last year to Optimisation Developments Ltd.

The market is on a 1.9-hectare site and has the Abergavenny Conservation Area on three sides.

Kalm arguments included the claims that demolition would seriously affect the local economy and threaten to contaminate the River Usk.

But all complaints were rejected by Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, who said the council had take all conservation, environmental and socio-economic issues properly into account when reaching its decision.

"It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this challenge is in reality an attack upon the planning merits of the decision of the council in granting planning permission... misplaced forensic criticism has been levelled at decisions made when no issue was taken at the time objections were made," she said.

Concluding that there were no grounds for planning consent to be challenged, she added: "No evidence has been adduced to identify any real risk to the River Usk as a result of the proposed remedial measures."

The livestock market dates from the early 1860s.

The court heard the council has committed itself to maintaining a livestock market within the county boundaries for at least 50 years.

Monmouthshire council deputy leader Bob Greenland said most people accepted that market had "grown to such an extent that it cannot be contained on the restricted town site".

He said: "Selling the site to Morrisons gives local people the chance to shop here rather than travel miles to other centres.

"It also helps the council defend against the threat of a superstore on the outskirts of the town and the proceeds from the sale will pay for the new market as well as give a much-needed boost to our plans to rebuild our secondary schools.

"This scheme also brings with it in excess of 200 jobs for local people which are much needed."

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