Louth MP Sir Peter Tapsell has said he fears having no cattle market in the centre of Louth will ‘affect the quality and feeling’ of the market town.
Sir Peter was speaking during a consituency visit to Louth Cattle Market on Thursday, where he gauged opinion from farmers on the proposed second cattle market for Louth on the Fairfield Industrial Estate.
Last year outline planning permission was granted to a consortium of farmers and private developers for a new £3million cattle market.
This verdict left the existing market on the East Lindsey District Council-owned Newmarket site in an uneasy situation over whether the town could sustain two sites.
The fears heightened last year when a £25,000 survey commissioned by ELDC cited the Newmarket site as having the best prospects for siting a large supermarket in Louth.
“The question is does it change the character of a market town if it doesn’t have a market in the centre,” said Sir Peter.
“All the other cattle markets in Lincolnshire have gone, it affects the quality and feeling of a town. Market towns should have markets, not just stall holders.
“If they’re going to have one to the industrial estate maybe only the professionals will go.”
The applicant insists the intention of the new cattle market would not be to replace the Newmarket site but as an alternative facility in line ‘with the demands of the modern livestock industry’.
But Richard Balderston, a farmer from Skegness, said a second market would affect trade at the Newmarket site.
“It’s more of a central location here, the industrial estate is out of the way,” he said.
“It’s important that a cattle market is the centre of the town, I think it (a second site) would affect trade, without a doubt.”
Dick Read, a farmer from West Ashby, said: “I’d be very worried if this site disappeared. It’s our last market in Lincolnshire and I’d be very keen to see it continue.”
Paul Robinson, an auctioneer in Louth for 40 years, added: “A market town means having a cattle market.
“Louth is extremely popular and has a unique feel, the people that come are part of the atmosphere of the town.”
Simon Dennis of KG Designs, the applicant, said the plans were now in the process of ‘becoming detailed’.
Would you like to see a second cattle market in Louth? Email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org.