Abergavenny cattle market campaigners warn of ‘serious and grave mistake’
Demolishing Abergavenny's historic Livestock Market would be an “extremely serious and grave mistake”, a packed public meeting was told.
The meeting, attended by 150 people, was held by campaign group Keep Abergavenny Livestock Market Open which opposes the plan to demolish it and build an £11million Morrisons supermarket and library.
At the Angel Hotel on Wednesday night, the meeting's chairman Philip Bowyer said: "Our campaign is still very much alive after the council has started to give the impression it's a done deal and it's all over."
He said there are many outstanding issues and called for a proper discussion about the future of the town.
KALM spokeswoman, Jenny Long said it's an eleventh-hour battle to save the market from being relocated. "We want to regenerate this town, but it is impossible with the lack of dialogue with the county council, as they refuse to listen to us."
Organic farmer, Sue Pritchard said: "This is the worst case I have ever seen of a council that ignores the wishes of the community."
"The council is making an extremely serious and grave mistake."
Joe England, chairman of action group Community Action to Save the Hill (CASH) said Abergavenny is being “asset-stripped”, while one trader feared that supermarket would result in the loss of the indoor market.
Kim Waters, of Abergavenny Civic Society, said the Livestock Market is at the heart of the town and it would be blow if it was lost.
"We want a vibrant working town, not a ‘clone’ town."
He said a feasibility study, commissioned by the society shows a market could operate in the town and wants to work with the council to see if it is a viable option.
Abergavenny auctioneer, Keith Spencer, who has been associated with the market for 44 years, said the site is not suitable.
"If I thought we could have a practical 21st century market on that site I can assure you I would be the first to be in favour of it."
He also claimed he has never been consulted by campaigners.
PANEL KALM wants the market to be refurbished rather than to relocated to Bryngwyn, near Raglan.
The group has initiated legal proceedings against the council to get planning permission for the supermarket quashed. It is also challenging the Welsh Government’s Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant’s decision to repeal ancient acts that mean the council is obliged to hold a livestock market in the town.
Lisa Foster, for Environmental and Public Law specialists Richard Buxton Solicitors, acting for KALM, said £14,000 is needed towards a fighting fund to cover KALM's legal costs.
The judicial reviews will be heard at the High court in Cardiff on October 3.