The site of the 800-year-old market could be used to create temporary parking
Newton Abbot’s historic 800-year-old cattle market will close when work to develop a new 72-bedroom hotel on the Halcyon Road car park in Newton Abbot begins.
Teignbridge councillors on Thursday agreed to progress plans to self-develop a 72-bed hotel, which will then be leased to a national chain operator.
The council had already agreed there will be no net loss of parking provision in the town while redevelopment of the town centre takes place, and the cattle market site has been highlighted as an opportunity area for creating temporary parking.
And Thursday’s meeting saw the council vote to adopt a phased closure to the cattle market. The sheep pens below the multi storey car park will be converted to parking in summer 2019 and to closure the cattle pens at a later date once the development of the hotel is due to commence.
There has been a livestock market in Newton Abbot since 1221 and it moved to its present location in the centre of town between Asda and the multi-storey car park in 1938, but the market is due to close once a proposal for the site is brought forward, as the site has been agreed for development in both the Local Plan and the Masterplan for the town.
Cllr Timothy Golder, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Skills and Tourism, told councillors: “This proposal demonstrates our commitment to regenerate the town centre. A hotel in Newton Abbot will create jobs and bring wealth into the town centre.”
Cllr Jeremy Christophers, leader of the council, added: “This will create vibrancy in the town centre. The demand for a hotel is something that the market would be receptive to, we have to respond to the market. This will bring people right into the centre of the town, will support the day time and the night-time economy, and will bring extra patronage to the centre of Newton Abbot and make what is already a good night out even better.”
But Cllr Alan Connett said that ‘of all the hotel operators that we might have chosen, this is the one I would have preferred the least’. He added: “If I promised you a car and it was something you were excited about, and then I arrived with a ten year old Lada, would you be so excited? Is this the best that we can hope for in Newton Abbot? Because I hope it is not.”
The council agreed to self-develop plans to redevelop the Halcyon Road car park, which currently has 115 spaces, into a 72-bedroom hotel within the next 18 to 24 months, to then lease out to a national chain operator.
The report to the meeting from Tony Watson, interim head of commercial services, and Cllr Timothy Golder, portfolio holder for economy, skills and tourism, had said: “Phasing the delivery of improvements in the town is critical, together with managing parking provision and ensuring ease of access and availability of space is retained.
“In order to achieve development at Halcyon Road, the cattle market site is highlighted as an opportunity area for creating temporary parking.
“The Newton Abbot Livestock auctioneers and NFU have been consulted and the auctioneers have requested the ability to continue trading in a reduced form. Their proposal is to hand back the sheep stalls below the multi-storey car park while retaining the covered pens in the main market area.”
The council agreed to convert the sheep pens below the multi storey car park to parking in summer 2019 and to close the cattle pens at a later date once the development of the hotel is due to commence.