Council plans food shop to replace historic Cowbridge market

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has agreed plans to replace the demolished Cowbridge market with a food retailer after it deemed the land “surplus to requirements”.

The council report was approved in a cabinet meeting on Monday (8 February) and sets out the intention to use the site of the 200-year-old mart for a “medium-sized food retailer” and car park.

See also: What have livestock markets learned from 2020?

The council says the plans would boost the local economy by creating jobs and encouraging spending in Cowbridge. Any retailer using the council-owned site would have to pass an impact assessment at the planning application stage.

The report adds that a new food shop in Cowbridge would benefit the environment by reducing the distance local people have to travel.

But without a permanent livestock market in The Vale of Glamorgan, farmers face long journeys to sell their sheep.

There are markets in Carmarthen and Brecon, resepctively about 49 and 45 miles away, and farmers are still in the dark about a proposed alternative site to sell their livestock in the vale.

‘Agri Hub’

The council is looking at options for a new “Agri Hub” but discussions are still at an early stage. Consultancy firm PER is exploring potential funding sources.

The final sheep sale at Cowbridge took place on 1 September 2020, ahead of its demolition in November.

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said: “The focus of this work is on reviewing and refreshing the demand analysis. It is too early to draw conclusions on funding sources.

“PER is in discussion with key stakeholders representing the farming unions, the auctioneers and Welsh government.”

Sheep farmer Rob Thomas from the nearby village of Colwinston said he is frustrated with the lack of progress and urged the council to find a solution for the vale’s farmers.

“We need a new site and mart with auctioneers and the backing of the farming unions to drive public awareness,” Mr Thomas said.

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