PLANS to relocate South Molton's livestock market to an out-of-town-site at Pathfields Business Park were given a major boost at a meeting last night (Tuesday). Proposals to develop an agricultural centre-of-excellence" on a substantial" town council-ow
PLANS to relocate South Molton's livestock market to an out-of-town-site at Pathfields Business Park were given a major boost at a meeting last night (Tuesday).Proposals to develop an "agricultural centre-of-excellence" on a "substantial" town council-owned site had stalled following North Devon Council's promise to allocate £1m to the project, a decision revealed in the Gazette in April last year.At the time, the council was discussing possible private sector involvement with Mole Valley Farmers but has yet to put the ideas out to formal tender. But last night, senior district council members and officers met with South Molton Town Councillors to form a working group tasked with targeting private investment in the scheme.Town council members voted in favour of a proposal to form a committee consisting of four members from each council."The aim of the working party is to put a tender out in the very near future to find third party interest in the project," said town and district Cllr Sue Sewell.Cllr Sewell said that the relocation of the market was not dependent on the coming of a new supermarket but it is hoped that private investment will help deliver a multi-million-pound one-stop-shop agricultural business centre that could feature an abattoir, veterinary practice and agricultural machinery centre.Although the final land take of the new market has not yet been decided, it is estimated that there are still some 12-13 acres of land available from an initial 18 acres originally purchased by the town council to enable the various phases of the recent Pathfields expansion project."The council's offer of £1m to move the livestock market is already included in the capital programme," said North Devon Council's lead member for economy and regeneration, Cllr Malcolm Prowse."We feel that moving the market is really important for the regeneration of South Molton and in a couple of months, with a joint report from the district and the town council, we will know whether this is going happen."This is one of the most important things we can do for the town and we are here today to say we believe in the project," he added.