TWO rival groups have put in bids to establish a new livestock market in Malton it was confirmed yesterday as a plea was made for a lease on the existing building to be extended until new premises can be built.
The market bids, by Malton and Ryedale Farmers’ Livestock Market Company and by a group headed by farmer John Hicks, of Cawton, near Hovingham, were the only two received by the Fitzwilliam Estate, by the deadline for bids and they are now being studied by a firm of specialist consultants, Anderson’s of Melton Mowbray.
Pat Foxton, a leading haulier at the decades old-market, one of the biggest in the North of England, and leader of the Market Company bid, said it was imperative the market remained open until a replacement was built.
“Otherwise we shall have farmers taking their livestock to such markets as Thirsk and business will be lost to Malton town as a whole and the market in particular,” he said.
He added the existing market was worth around £14m a year to the economies of Malton and Norton and said: “Over 5,000 people have signed a petition to keep a market in Malton.”
Mr Foxton said the existing lease, due to expire in October, should be extended.
“If it isn’t there will be a riot in Malton,” he added.
He said the Market Company was seeking to build a replacement market, at an estimated cost of £2.5m, in the vicinity of Eden Farm close to the A64 and the A169 road to Pickering.
“Malton and Ryedale as a whole needs a market because so many other businesses depend on it. Ideally we are looking at an extension of the lease by two years.”
A new market would be part of an industrial park with businesses complimentary to agriculture, said Mr Foxton.
But he emphasised his aim was to see a new market operate seven days a week.
He said: “It cannot survive as a livestock market two days a week.”
His plan would be to see it also stage retail fairs and to have a restaurant.
Mr Hicks, who is also a member of Ryedale District Council, said his group too, had put in a detailed bid to the estate to continue operating the present market and outlining proposals for a proposed new market in Pickering Road.
A site was being made available to the group and unlike the Farmers’ Livestock Market Company’s plan, it did not involve industrial buildings being built nearby.
The estate has previously said it is keen to see operations continue at the market while a solution is found.
In a statement, Roddy Bushell, the manager for the Fitzwilliam Estate in Malton said: “Two bids were received by the deadline of last Friday.
These have been passed to Anderson’s farm business consultants for their recommendation to the board of the Estate Company.
“Anderson’s terms of reference are to assess each party’s proposals and advise which bids are likely to be viable and which is most likely to be successful in relocating the market and making a success of the market on the new site.
“The expectation is that this decision will be announced on August 23.”
The estate, wants to redevelop the current market site, and turn it into retail units.
The new move on the long-awaited replacement market, comes just days after Ryedale District Council was told that the Government’s planning inspectorate has given the green light to the authority’s planning blueprint for the next 14 years.
Gary Housden, the council’s senior planning manager, said: “The inspector has concluded that the Local Plan Strategy is sound, subject to the inclusion of a schedule of modifications.”
It goes before a meeting of the authority’s full council on September 5 for approval.