Nick Louth, from the ‘Keep Louth Special’ (KLS) campaign which opposes the sale of the existing cattle market, has accused ELDC of potentially ‘breaking its commitment’ to provide a livestock market in Louth following its announcement this afternoon.
Mr Louth said: “The District Council has admitted it is between a rock and hard place on the future of the cattle market site, and is now considering breaking its commitment – recently affirmed in a Judicial Review brought by Keep Louth Special - to provide a livestock market for local farmers.
“It says it could do this through a Private Act of Parliament, which would amend the Royal Charter.”
He continued: “It has been blindingly obvious to s for several years that East Lindsey’s plan to build a replacement cattle market on Louth’s industrial estate were never economic.
“By admitting that it would cost £5.25 million, almost as much as the council could raise by selling the current site, ELDC is belatedly recognising this fact.
“Our position has always been that the Newmarket site should remain a livestock market, and that a giant supermarket which ELDC envisaged would destroy many of the independent shops which give the town its character and tourist trade.
“We still oppose any watering down or reneging on the commitment made to provide a livestock market.
“In July 2014, ASDA/McLagan Investments offered in the region of £12m for the site, planning to build a giant superstore. They topped a long list of bidders laboriously put together by ELDC in a blind auction. But just nine months later, and after ELDC had spent tens of thousands of ratepayers money on reports and consultants, ASDA/McLagan decided to cut the price they were willing to offer by 40 per cent.
“No other bidders stepped forward to offer more, proof that the era of the building of huge new supermarkets was over, and that with the arrival of Aldi, Louth’s retail needs were fully met for the foreseeable future.”
Mr Louth concluded: “We remain willing to work with officials to provide a better and more imaginative vision for the site which will benefit all parts of the local economy. We now hope that ELDC will take the path of common sense.”