Relocation of the Cattle Market - Important Issues - Mecury August 2012


The relocation of the Cattle Market poses some questions which need answers.


Firstly we need to know how it is going to be paid for. The local farming community has raised substantial funds, but these on their own are not going to be enough. Either a donation or a loan will be required. However, it is difficult to see how either a loan or a donation will be provided unless there is a business plan to back it up. So far the promoters of the Cattle Market have failed to provide a business plan, even though one has been requested for at least six years.


It is difficult to understand why a business plan has not been prepared. After all, there is an ongoing  business, and one would have thought it would be a relatively simple exercise to use the figures of the current business, and project them forwards on the basis of growth which should occur as a result of the opportunities for improvement which a new site would provide, and then to add the cost of the new site and the capital sum required to cover any funding shortfall. People need to know why this has not been done and what the problem is.


A second, related question concerns the proposed site. It is understood that this will be released for free, provided the site owner, FTC, the Fitzwilliam Trust Corporation  (not the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate (FME)), is able to recover the value of the land through “enabling development”. In other words, they expect the Council to give planning permission on land which would not normally be available for development, so as to increase its value. The development which FTC have in mind is either yet another huge new supermarket on the Showfield (one bigger than the one proposed for Wentworth Street Car Park) or alternatively a substantial number of new houses or other development.


As regards a supermarket, the Showfield is already under option to a potential buyer, but no planning application has been made yet. As regards houses, one needs to know how many are required, and where they are going to be built. A public consultation carried out by Malton and Norton Town Councils shows that Malton and Norton residents do not want to see more than 1,000 new houses built in the towns during the next 15 years. If FTC and the Cattle Market promoters expect the towns to accommodate more than this, they can expect to lose much of the public goodwill and support which they now have.


A solution could be to find a site which can be bought at or near agricultural value, so that the land can be released without the need for “enabling development” to finance it. It is understood that such sites do exist. For example there is one on the Pickering Road a mile or so North of the Pickering Road roundabout.


The promoters of the Cattle Market relocation have urged the community to work with them to achieve their objectives. It is right for them to expect this. However, this must not be at the expense of the ruin and destruction of our towns.




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