A NEW supermarket and car park are planned on the site of a 200-year-old livestock market in Cowbridge.
The Cowbridge livestock market was recently shut down and demolished by the Vale of Glamorgan council.
The council said many people travel out of Cowbridge to shop for groceries, so a car park and a supermarket would help the town’s economy.
However local farmers are still waiting for a replacement livestock market — promised by the Vale council years ago — but which hasn’t yet appeared.
The Vale cabinet voted on Monday, January 8, to sell the land at the Butts, where the former livestock market used to be.
Deputy council leader Lis Burnett said: “People travel outside of Cowbridge down to Bridgend or to Culverhouse Cross to do large food shops. We want to retain that spend in the town centre.
“[There is] ongoing work with the associated ‘agri-hub’ concept to serve the farming industry in the Vale of Glamorgan. Discussions continue with farming stakeholders and other interesting parties in how we can develop and establish an ‘agri-hub’.”
The land is owned by the council and will be marketed to developers as a potential site for “food retail use”, including a public car park.
But locals in the town are angry about how the Vale council closed the livestock market without replacing it. The closure means farmers must travel as far as Brecon or Carmarthen to sell sheep — with any profits eaten up by the expensive petrol costs of travelling so far.
Russell Spencer-Downe, deputy mayor of Cowbridge, said: “There’s a lot of anger in the town. We have been a market town for over 750 years.”
He pointed to a study carried out in 2018 by consultants commissioned by the Vale council, looking at replacing and upgrading the existing livestock market.
The report by Per Consulting said:
“Importantly, any new facility needs to be developed before the existing market closes, or risk losing the relationship with farmers who will be forced to find new outlets for their stock.
“If no livestock market was to be provided locally, producers would incur additional costs and face longer journey times in transporting animals and increased time away from the farm, a particular issue for some small producers who also maint