Plans for cattle market proposals revealed to public for first time
AMBITIOUS new plans to transform Lincolnshire's only surviving livestock market, creating up to 100 new jobs, have been revealed.
Keep Louth Special pressure group are to present an alternative option to East Lindsey District Council on how the livestock market on Newmarket can be transformed and run as a viable asset.
East Lindsey District Council has commissioned a £30,000 independent report which will influence the council's decision on whether to sell the cattle market site to a developer.
If the council does sell the site, they would have to provide a livestock market elsewhere.
But the Keep Louth Special group are presenting alternative plans which could see the five-acre site used daily.
Nick Louth of the group said:"The big thing is that Louth Livestock Market stays at its present site, this is what the farmers want, what the auctioneers want and what people who care about the vitality of Louth want.
"It would take the site which is currently used economically one half-day a week and make every square foot, seven days a week, earn its keep. With funding and imagination, we can make this whole site work."
The plans may involve purchasing the livestock market site or leased as a community or private ownership initiative.
The site would have an all-weather climbing wall - there is no other climbing wall situated between Hull and Lincoln.
The plans include a 1,000 square foot specialist retail park focussing on outdoor pursuits such as camping, footwear, mountaineering, cycling and motorcycle specialist retailers - something Mr Louth said would not damage town centre businesses.
There will be a café too, and motorcycle parking. On the first floor of the courtyard will be another 1,000 square metres for a budget hotel, plus business studios for start-ups.
The current livestock market building would be renovated, solar panels installed on the roof and a grey water recycling system installed to generate income and save costs.
Keep Louth Special believe the plans could create between 70 and 100 jobs if all aspects of the scheme are implemented.
Mr Louth said: "Many things would be a dual use, including using one of the cattle rings as a music amphitheatre. This is something which is already happening in Skipton and would suit young people and be something very different for the town. We really do need community support for something positive and different to help continue the town as somewhere distinctive, generating a return for East Lindsey without the need to sacrifice something that is such a special place."
The current Newmarket car park will be moved towards London Road, and the sheep pens there will be relocated towards Quarry Road.
There will be several farming related shops on London Road, such as a chainsaw outlet, and a veterinary supplier.
The plan is being supported by Louth Town Council and the National Farmers' Union.
John Smith, chairman of the Louth, Grimsby and Market Rasen branch of the NFU said: "The NFU was impressed with the way the plan would not only preserve Lincolnshire's last livestock market on its existing site, but adds numerous additional community uses for the space to add something for the entire community to rally around."
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