WORK on the redevelopment of the livestock market in Malton gets under way this week as mechanical diggers move in to start a series of trial trenches looking for any archaeological finds.
Over the next two weeks, eight trenches, each measuring five metres long, will be dug to establish if there is any historic evidence or features worthy of recording before the site is redeveloped as a food store, additional shops and car parking.
The estate is redeveloping the current market site and turning it into retail units but it is planned that the market will be relocated.
Earlier this year the Fitzwilliam Estate said it had picked the Malton & Ryedale Farmers’ Livestock Market Company, led by Pat Foxton, as the successful bidder to lease the existing town centre site and now the organisation hopes to start work on building a new livestock market near to Eden Camp next year.
Estate manager Roddy Bushell said at the time: “Foremost in our minds has been the unbroken operation of the market to allow more time for a relocation of the business to be successful.”
Fitzwilliam Malton Estate owns and manages a substantial portfolio of property in Malton. The estate was purchased as an investment in 1713 by forebears of the Naylor-Leyland family.
A spokesperson for the estate said: “Malton was a Royal Borough with a defensive wall and ditch around it, and it is known from historic maps of the town that the wall was located in this area.
“If any signs of these defences are discovered, the specialist firm of MAP Archaeological Practice, based locally, will make recommendations to minimise the loss of the evidence by recording the detail.
“MAP has agreed the number and location of the trenches with both the district archaeologist at the county council and the operators of the livestock market to ensure their business is not interrupted during the works.
“This preliminary investigation is required by national planning policy and was a condition of the planning permission won by the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate on appeal.
“Further studies or mitigation may follow if recommended by MAP, and a watching brief may have to be adopted during redevelopment to ensure any evidence picked up during this first dig is not missed.”
Mr Foxton and his fellow farmers, hauliers and livestock auctioneers are now working with the owners of the present market site with a view to moving to a new site near to Eden Camp.
“The bulk of our supporters accept that we have to make this move. This in-town site is no longer appropriate to our needs and we fully understand the need to redevelop in Malton,” Mr Foxton said.
Work is being carried out developing the plans for Eden Camp.