THE livestock market at Bryngwyn, near Raglan, can vary its opening times – despite nearby residents’ concerns of disturbance.

Farmers will now be able to arrive with their animals at Monmouthshire Livestock Centre as early as 6am after the operator of Newport Market Auctioneers Ltd (ANMAL) was given permission to open between 6am and 9pm, instead of the current time of 7am and 8pm, and can hold sales on Bank Holidays.

Abergavenny and Newport Market Auctioneers Ltd (ANMAL) which operates Monmouthshire Livestock Centre, told the county council that since the new £5 million market, which replaces the former markets at Abergavenny, Monmouth and Newport, opened in December the number of customers and stock has risen on a regular basis with new buyers and sellers joining the existing ones. On a Wednesday, the busiest market day, there are 500 cattle and 2,000 sheep and it takes longer to process the cattle, causing a backlog.

ANMAL said farmers need to be able to make the first delivery earlier than 7am to allow them to make a second trip before the sale starts. It also stated that it is impossible to clear all the stock from a busy market before 8pm.

The operator added that it always intended to use the market as a venue for the farming community to hold meetings in the evening and to hold sales on a Bank Holiday in order to maintain a consistent service to buyers.

ANMAL said it has not had complaints of noise and disturbance to date and that the extended opening hours, between 6am and 9am, will not affect residents.

Resident, Stuart Wilcock, who was among the campaigners to form the Bryngwyn Rural Community Action Group, opposing the location of the livestock market around seven years ago said he was ‘disappointed’ but not ‘surprised’ by the decision.

In its report, Mommouthshire council said that the new opening times are reasonable and will improve the competitiveness and viability of the market but added that flood lights can only be used between 7am and 8pm.