Bid to build superstore on cattle market rejected

PERMISSION to build a huge superstore on Hailsham's cattle market site in Market Street was refused by Wealden District councillors yesterday (Thursday).

Aldi wanted to construct a 1,612 metre store and move the historic cattle market to Knight's Farm on the Boship Roundabout.

But councillors voted unanimously against the proposal to build the store.

Phil Hook, chairman of the Hailsham Farmers Action Group, believed the result was what the farming fraternity and town's residents wanted.

He said: 'It's got us a bit more time to look for another site close to the town.

'The decision has gone the way we wanted it to go.'

Eight members of the Development Control South Sub-Committee voted against Aldi's plans to build the store on the cattle site and four members chose not to vote.

There were so many members of the public crowding into the meeting yesterday that it was standing-room only.

The committee's decision to turn down Aldi's plans will now be looked at by the Regulatory Committee meeting on November 19.

The 10-member Regulatory Committee oversees the work of development control sub-committees.

Richard Kitching, property director for Aldi Chelmsford, said: 'We are disappointed at the decision taken at the planning committee meeting.

'Aldi has gone to extraordinary lengths to work with the local community and interested parties to ensure the Hailsham Cattle Market has continued to trade in the area.

'As a result of the decision, Aldi are reserving their position to appeal the planning decision but are keen to maintain dialogue and support the farmers in order to secure the future of the market.'

The Express reported two weeks ago the move to Knight's Farm would cost farmers at least 500,000.

The Hailsham Market Act of 1871 states the livestock market must be held within the town.