Welsh ministers ‘acted lawfully’ over Abergavenny cattle market - court hears
MINISTERS “acted lawfully” in allowing a council to decide the future of Abergavenny Livestock Market, a court heard yesterday.
This view was put forward by Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) on the second day of a judicial review into the future of the market.
The review was brought about by Jennifer Long, founder of campaign group Keep Abergavenny Livestock Market (KALM), protesting moves by the council meaning the market would cease to exist on its current site.
MCC granted planning permission in 2011 for a Morrisons supermarket and a library to be built on the site, and a new market to be built in Raglan, but this required the repeal of parts of an act from 1854.
Ministers repealed two provisions of the act as they were “obsolete, unnecessary or had been substantially superseded”, but said that what happened to the market was a planning matter for the council, not the Welsh Government.
Campaigners argue the ministers ignored the consequences of overturning the legislation, namely the closure of the 149-year-old market at its current location and the effect it would have on the community.
Richard Ground, representing MCC, said the Welsh ministers took “a rational decision” that it was unnecessary to have a continuing obligation to have a market on that site, and that Abergavenny had been “the only place in Wales with such a restrictive statutory regime”.
“So much of Wales and the rest of the country can survive perfectly well without this,” he said.
Mr Ground said there had been a long-term project to move the market to Raglan where it would be “served by a better road network”.
Mr John Steel QC, on behalf of the claimant, said the consequences should have been “fundamental” to decision-making by ministers.
A second judicial review, also brought by Mrs Long, into whether MCC was right to grant planning permission, began immediately after the conclusion of the first. A judgement by Justice Mrs Nicola Davies on both matters is expected within a week.