East Lindsey District Council has today (Wednesday) revealed that it will hold a consultation on the future of Louth’s Cattle Market, with three possible options on the table.
The first option would see the current site in Newmarket being sold to ELDC’s selected bidder (ADV Partnership) who would provide a retail-led development on the site, while a new livestock facility would be provided elsewhere in town, most likely on the Fairfield Industrial Estate. Once built, this new facility would be run by a third-party market operator.
ELDC is currently obligated to provide a livestock market in Louth, under historic Royal Charters. However, the proposed replacement facility would cost around £5 million to build.
The second option would see ELDC suspend the current livestock market and promote a Private Act of Parliament to discontinue the operation of a livestock market in Louth. If successful, this would allow the existing Cattle Market to be sold and there would be no obligation to provide a replacement site - despite ELDC’s repeated promises to do so in the past.
This option would, however, allow ELDC to invest the money gained from the sale of the existing site into other functions and projects - such as additional car parking provision, foreshore enhancement, coastal marina and flood defence structures, the replacement of the Station Sports Facility, and a ‘countryside to coast’ multi-user path.
Speaking at a press briefing this afternoon, ELDC Council Leader Craig Leyland said: “We have to deal with the facts as we have them in terms of local authority finance. Challenges on how we spend money are important.
We have to have consideration that times have changed.Councillor Craig Leyland
“The situation has changed. Our Transformation Programme has had to identify £4 million of savings and capital assets can be an important part of how we progress things across the district. We have to have consideration that times have changed.”
The third and final option would see ELDC withdraw from the agreed sale and undertake repairs on the current Cattle Market site, which would cost up to £700,000. This would lead to the retention of gross parking income (£30,000 per year) and allow the vacant Boar’s Head pub to be redeveloped separately.
After the District Council’s Executive Board meeting next week (July 12), the three proposals are expected to go out to a public and market user consultation, which would last nine weeks.
The final decision on the future of the site will be made by ELDC’s Full Council on October 11.
• For more on this story, pick up a copy of next week’s Louth Leader (July 12).