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Livestock market to close and relocate to Beeston

Chelford site being sold off for housing and market operators have run out of time to find an alternative location

Cattle sale at Chelford livestock market, Cheshire

Chelford livestock market in Cheshire is to close next month after 116 years.

Owner Wright Marshall is to relocate its Chelford sales to the firm’s other auction site at Beeston Castle, near Chester.

Chelford’s landlords have entered into a conditional contract to sell the site to a development company.

The developers require vacant possession of the site prior to submitting a detailed planning application for housing.

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An extension to the current lease has been granted only until the end of April.

As a result the market will hold its last sale on March 30.

A spokesman said: “Business will therefore cease at one of Britain’s best-known and most diverse auction centres, with the loss of a number of jobs, and with an expected significant impact upon the rural economy regionally.”

(Image: Chris Neill)

Attempts to find alternative site were in vain

Founded in 1911, Chelford market has since operated continuously on the same site and is now one of the UK’s busiest auction centres, employing nearly 50 people.

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In December 2010, permission was granted by Cheshire East Council to build 86 homes on the site.

The company attempted to relocate and in March 2014 planning consent for a new market at Middlewich was obtained, in conjunction with developers Pochin.

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“But planners deleted sufficient of the original application to render the permission granted unviable,” said the spokesman.

“Subsequent attempts to renegotiate terms upon that site have come to nothing, nor has the firm been successful in applications for grant funding from a number of sources.”

Neither was the firm able to negotiate a longer extension to the Chelford lease to give it time to find an alternative site.

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However talks are continuing over a possible new location.

In the meantime, Beeston will host sales previously held at Chelford.

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