South East Wales

Abergavenny cattle market: Taxpayers 'won't lose out' in new plan

Abergavenny Image copyright Alan Bowring/Geograph

Taxpayers in Abergavenny will not lose out in a new deal for a supermarket in the town centre, it has been claimed.

Morrisons is renegotiating its plans for the former cattle market site with Monmouthshire council, after missing a payment deadline earlier this year.

Council deputy leader Bob Greenland said the £15m price tag would not be substantially dropped.

But campaigners opposed to the development said it is time to rethink the plan.

Abergavenny's historical cattle market was controversially moved to a new £5m facility 10 miles (16km) away in 2013, leaving the town centre site derelict.

Local resident Barry Greenwood, who was a member of the Keep Abergavenny Livestock Market (KALM) campaign, wants the council to rethink about selling the site to Morrisons.

"There was a proposal here, very early on, for a mixed development - some retail, some housing and possibly a cinema, which would benefit the whole town," he said.

Image caption The former cattle market site has been derelict for two years

"I think the failure of this contract was an ideal opportunity for the council to say 'right Morrisons, thank you very much, off you go, we will rethink the position'.

"Things have changed a lot since the original plans - the financial crash, now we've got Brexit and who knows what that means."

Mr Greenland argued negotiating small changes to the original plans would prevent further delays and maintained that a new financial deal would be "very similar" to the original sale price.

"I don't think there'll be much difference at all. It'll be restructured but the end will be pretty much the same," he said.

Image caption Monmouthshire council says the price tag for the site will not be much less than the £15m originally agreed

"Because the supermarket will be in the town, it will then naturally lead to people using the rest of the town. What we wanted to avoid at all costs was a supermarket being established out of town because then the town would almost certainly die in the future."

A spokesman for Morrisons said: "Following a comprehensive review of our new store formats we have revised the proposed layout of the Abergavenny store to improve the shopping experience for customers.

"As a result, we have submitted a new planning application to Monmouthshire council which reflects the changes made and we are working with the council towards determination.

"Morrisons remains committed to Abergavenny and delivering a new store in the town."

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