New Livestock Market Taking Shape
Politicians and farmers leaders have praised building progress on the re-development of one of Europe’s biggest one day livestock markets at Welshpool.
Work on the multi-million pound redevelopment of Welshpool Livestock Market began in mid-November 2008 and is on schedule for completion in October.
The market, the biggest in Wales and one of the largest centres for the sale of prime breeding sheep in Europe, is being relocated a mile north of the town by Oswestry based J. Ross Development, with building work being undertaken by the company’s in-house contracting arm J.R. Pickstock Ltd.
Farmers’ Union of Wales president Gareth Vaughan said: “It’s a wonderful development, a purpose-built livestock market with all the necessary animal welfare requirements, and well served by trunk road connections.
“We are well aware that the existing market at Welshpool attracts animals from as far afield as south Ceredigion and no doubt that custom will continue.
“I’m sure the new market will attract a large number of buyers for the excellent produce of farms in the area. The high quality of their livestock is second to none.”
Keith Davies, a partner in Welshpool Livestock Ltd, said he was looking forward to moving to the new home and praised the developers for bringing the scheme to fruition and overcoming planning obstacles.
“Obstacles which seemed impossible to overcome are now behind us and we will have a livestock market, of which we can be proud, capable of serving farmers from all over Wales and England,” he said
Montgomeryshire MP, Mr Lembit Opik said J. Ross were ‘performing a major miracle in the speed they were constructing the new market.’
“They are focussed and committed to a very high standard of finish and I’m sure it will become one of the leading livestock markets in Europe. It’s a credit to Welshpool and also to J. Ross, who are once again proving that when it comes to construction, they’re a world class business.”
Glyn Davies, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Montgomeryshire and a local farmer said the building was the start of a new chapter in the history of farming in the area. “I am a huge supporter of this scheme. It will be a superb boost for farming and the community. “The pace at which the development has started has captured the imagination of not just the faming community but the people of Welshpool too,” he added.
The scheme sees the developers delivering a new 149,000 sq ft livestock market on a 16 acre site, complying with new bio security and DEFRA legislation for Welshpool Livestock Sales Ltd.
The development sees the creation of 1,044 sheep and 200 cattle pens with additional penning available for annual one-day sale volumes.
In its town centre location will go a major retail development including a Tesco store, petrol station and canal side restaurant.
The scheme also include a traffic management system involving a one-way gyratory scheme around Welshpool town centre and will provide more than £300,000 for conservation work and community improvements. Andy Jones, Managing Director of J.R. Pickstock, said he was delighted that the scheme was getting off the ground so quickly. “It has taken us some considerable time to get to the building stage so it is particularly pleasing to see the development work moving so quickly,” he said. “Delivering the site on time to Welshpool Livestock Ltd is of paramount importance and it has been pleasing to see so much interest from the local community, farming organisations, farmers and local politicians.”
Multi-million work on site under way
Work on a multi million pound transformation of Welshpool is well under way with the new livestock market taking shape.
The new market site, just off the A483 at the Buttington Cross Roundabout a mile north of the town should be completed by the end of October. The market is relocating to the site from its current position in Mill Lane.
It will free up land for a major retail development in the town centre.
A number of buildings on the new site, set to house animals on market days are starting to take shape – developers J-Ross Developments said. Work began at the site in mid-November following the official cutting of the first turf by Councillor Ann Holloway, Mayor of Welshpool, Lembit Opik Mp and Mark Kerr, former Chief Executive of Powys County Council.
Robert Robinson, Clerk to Welshpool Town Council, said work at the site was due to be completed by the end of October.
He said, “Developers on the Smithfield site are aiming for an end of October finish and once this has been completed work on the one-way system through Welshpool and the retail development can start.
“It should all be completed by the end of 2010 and then we can move on with the rest of it.”
Glyn Davies, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Montgomeryshire said he was excited by the development. Mr Davies, a farmer from Berriew said,”It is the start of a new chapter in the history of Welshpool as well as a building project.
“I am a huge supporter of the development. This will be a superb boost for the farming community.”
The retail development in the town is expected to create up to 400 jobs and would mean a huge boost to the town’s economy.
Councillors in the town backed the scheme last year after carrying out a month long consultation period with the public.
The scheme will include a new Tesco supermarket, canalside restaurant and a filling station.
It will also see a new layout to many of the town’s streets in respect of parking and shopping.
The proposals also show a new hotel, possibly a Travelodge, and other commercial premises in Mill Lane and more shops on Church Street Car Park.
Daily Post April 2009 New livestock market taking shape on the outskirts of Welshpool
Work is well underway on the relocation of one of Europe’s biggest one-day livestock markets.
The multi-milion pound re-development of Welshpool Livestock Market began in mid-November 2008 and is on schedule for completion in October 2009.
The market is being moved a mile north of the town by Oswestry based J-Ross Developments, UK Property Developers.
The new 140,000 sq ft market will have 1,044 sheep and 200 cattle pens.
Keith Davies, a partner in Welshpool Livestock Sales, praised the developers for overdoming ‘impossible’ planning obstacles.
“They are now behind us and we will have a livestock market of which we can be proud,” he said.
The livestock market is part of a major re-development scheme including a Tesco store. There will also be a new one-way gyratory traffic scheme through Welshpool town centre.
County Times January 2008 A decision that will effect town for the next 25 years
“THIS development will affect Welshpool for a long, long time, and will do more to shape Welshpool over the next 25 years than anything” – these were the words of Gareth Thomas as councillors from Montgomeryshire met to discuss the proposed development of the Smithfield Market site.
Members raised a number of issues with the plans, which will go before the full county planning committee for outline planning permission on January 22.
Mr Thomas, principal planning officer, told members of the Montgomeryshire committee: “It’s a significant development by any standards. It follows the granting of permission for a new livestock market.
“The livestock market (which will be relocated to Buttington Cross) is an economically significant development for the town and the region.”
The site in question would see a 4,300 sq metre supermarket built, and planners intend to restrict the floor space to 1,419 sq metres.
It would also incorporate 4,000 square metres of any retail space – designated for ‘bulky good’ – and a canal side cafe/restaurant, along with 479 car parking spaces.
There would also be a new petrol station off the A483 roundabout.
Cllr Ann Holloway, who represents Welshpool Llanerchyddol, told members: “We have to get this right now. It’s going to bring new life to Welshpool.”
She said at the moment it’s “just charity shops and estate agents on the high street”, adding: “I just hope there’s no derogatory impact on the high street.”
Cllr Wynne Jones, Dolforwyn, asked: “What is going to happen to the Tourist Information Centre?” He said the new road would cut it off from potential users.”
Mr Thomas replied: “The TIC remains where it is.”
And Cllr David Jones, Guilsfield, said: “When a major supermarket development was built in Brecon, £3m was spent (by PCC) on highways.
“In Llandrindod we were forbidden to say how much we’re spending.
“But the county council’s not spending a ha’penny.”
He also questioned whether through traffic would use the new road, saying: “Traffic’s going to have to go through half a dozen roundabouts.
“On Severn Street and Broad Street they can go straight through.”
Mr Thomas told him traffic signs would be altered – subject to Welsh Assembly approval – so that visitors who did not know the roads would be directed a new way through town, adding nothing could be done about people who know the roads.
Councillors were then talked through four main issues of the development: retail impact, highways, flood risk and planning obligations.
Mr Thomas said studies of the town and its economy showed a need for the new development, which should boost existing businesses.
However, he added: “Morrison’s will be the hardest hit.”
But figures in the planners’ report claim even in a worst case scenario, in which Morrison’s lost £2.1 million in trade, it would still not have to close.
He suggested 75 per cent of the floorspace of the additional retail space be restricted to the following goods; DIY, carpets and floor coverings, tiles, furniture and soft furnishings, sports, leisure goods and outdoor wear, motor vehicle accessories, pet supplies, garden products and electrical appliances.
Cllr Beryl Vaughan, Banwy, asked: “Can we dictate everything?” to which Mr Thomas replied: “We did concede on sports goods and footwear and met them halfway.”
Cllr Holloway told fellow members: “We must get what is best for the town. “My worry is we do not want shops being lost, things must not be duplicated too much.”
Some councillors questioned whether carpets should be removed from the list, pointing out that there are already three stores in the town.
Members were also warned that there is a concern over whether there is the real capacity for a store of that size.
Mr Thomas told councillors that figures revealed 82% of the capacity could be met through increased spending, increased market share, and capturing additional shoppers from elsewhere.
But he warned that still left another 18 per cent to make up.
Councillors were then shown the proposed new link road, and the one-way system which would be introduced to help traffic flow in the town.
Mr Thomas warned without changes: “We would not be able to accommodate the expected traffic, we would have reached capacity.”
A new link road would connect Church Street and Mill Lane, cutting through the existing public car park, reducing the amount of spaces from around 350 to between 100 and 150.
A one-way system would operate along Broad Street as far as the junction with Jehu Road, down Jehu Road, right down Brook Street and Union Street, allowing people to turn left only down Church Bank towards Salop Road.
Anyone entering Welshpool from Salop Road would have to turn left down Mill Lane and follow the new link road into the town centre.
Motorists coming down Red Bank, which some councillors suggested is currently used as a rat-run, would have to turn left towards Salop Road.
Cllr Holloway said: “We held a public meeting and people do want this.”
Cllr Francesca Jump, councillor for Welshpool Gungrog, said: “I have concerns about traffic on Salop Road, especially during the summer. Is this not going to cause a back-up?”
Richard Hobbs, from the highways department, told councillors: “You can only influence visiting traffic, those who know the layout the roads will use the way that they consider appropriate for them.”
Mr Thomas told councillors that the flood risk to the site in question came not from the River Severn but from the Lledan Brook.
“In times of flood water spills over into the canal,” he said, “and spills onto part of the site, the sheep pens.”
He said the developer had agreed to contribute towards a flood alleviation scheme. The scheme would allow housing to be built on the sheep pen site.
The flood alleviation plan involves raising the canal towpath on the southern side, between the town centre canal wharf and the Gungrog sluice. Speaking after the meeting, Mr Thomas told the County Times: “It had to be taken out of the UDP, but because we’ve overcome the flood issue we can move to start developing the site in principle.”
Mr Thomas added: “It could accommodate 40 to 50 homes, and I expect an application will be submitted in due course.”
Councillors raised a number of questions about the plans, all of which should be considered before the next meeting. These included whether there would be a direct link to Severn Street and the lack of a direct link between the new site and the railway station (except over a dangerous road crossing). They were also told improvements would be made to the Somerfield car park.
Mr Thomas told members that the developers would have to make a number of commitments, under a section 106 agreement, including £200,000 for the built heritage fund, £25,000 for public art, and a new HGV parking site at Buttington.
However, he told councillors that the developer is contesting the scale of contributions under the agreement, including the amount for the built heritage fund.
County Times January 2008 Green light for Welshpool scheme
A DEVELOPMENT which will transform the future of Welshpool has been granted outline planning permission.
Plans to redevelop the Smithfield Livestock Market were voted through unanimously by Powys County Council’s county planning committee on Tuesday afternoon.
The plans will see massive changes for Welshpool, including the re-organisation of the town’s road system.
The main development will see a 4,300 square metre foodstore created on the livestock site, along with 3,978 square metres of non-food retail warehousing, a 256 square metre canal side cafe/restaurant, a petrol station and 479 car parking spaces.
A pedestrian walkway will also be created from the livestock site over the former listed railway bridge over the canal to link with Church Street car park’s existing pedestrian walkway.
The plans to change the road system in Welshpool will see a through road built through Church Street Car Park, and a one way system through the town centre created.
There was some dispute over the route the road should take through Church Street Car Park with worries aired about the loss of car parking spaces.
It was suggested by Councillor Phil Pritchard that the plans be amended for the link road to meet the existing road through Church Street car park running along the south west side of the development.
However, head of planning Gareth Thomas said any attempt to change the route of the road would collapse the application entirely.
County councillor Richard Noyce said the proposal would present a major challenge to businesses inWelshpool, he said: “I feel this development offers real challenges for shops in the centre of Welshpool which have already received a large challenge from Coed y Dinas.
“I would hope that the business community in Welshpool will be encouraged to look on this opportunity as not being a detrimental challenge but offering an opportunity.”
Speaking in support of the plans, Spencer Cooper of J Ross Developments, the company behind the scheme, said: “These plans will bolster the rural economy. This is on the edge of the town centre and it will address leakage and bring people back to Welshpool to shop rather than go to Shrewsbury or Oswestry. I and my team are convinced this will have a truly positive effect on the town and the rural economy.”
County councillor Dawn Bailey said: “We owe it to the local people to bring this development forward. The charity shops we have at the moment have far more impact on the town centre than this development.”
County councillor Anne Holloway congratulated her fellow councillors on their decision, she said: “I would like to thank my colleagues for such a reasoned and fair debate.
“Two decades ago we made an awful mistake in the town. Do not make it again.”
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