An historic cattle market  could disappear after plans  were announced to transform the Beeston Castle  Auction site into a mixed  residential and commercial  scheme.

Cheshire auctioneer Wright  Manley, which has operated the  site since 1861, is joining forces  with Steppingstone Building Development Ltd to submit an outline planning application for 120  homes on the site at Whitchurch  Road, Beeston.

The proposals envisage  mainly three and four bedroom  family homes, with landscaped  green areas and the possibility  of a community shop.

Steppingstone already has  planning permission for 21  homes on the adjacent plot  where the Beeston Castle Hotel  was demolished earlier this  year.

Employment land to the east of  the site, which includes Wright  Manley’s furniture business,  auction house and offices, will  be retained and modelled into  the new scheme.

Wright Manley, which has  merged with another property  specialist, Frank Marshall, is  planning to relocate the cattle  auction to a purpose-built market in Middlewich, subject to  another planning application  gaining permission for a new  47-acre facility. The Beeston  cattle market would close late in  2015 at the earliest.

The masterplan for Beeston cattle market
The masterplan for Beeston cattle market
 

Full-time staff employed at  Beeston Castle Auction will be  relocated to the new market,  while the auction house staff  will remain at Beeston.

Nigel Eckersley, partner at  Wright Manley, said: “We’ve  worked hard to put together a  scheme that will be beneficial to  both the local community and  our existing staff and customers.  The plans will transform the  brownfield site into an attractive  residential and commercial  scheme which will revitalise the  area, safeguard existing jobs  and create a range of future  employment opportunities.

“There is a shortage of housing in the Cheshire West area  and the plans will help to meet  the council’s requirement for  new homes whilst preserving  the green belt.”

Greg Williams, partner at  Steppingstone, added: “By working together with Wright Manley we can combine the two sites  to create one larger development  which means we can masterplan the whole area.

“This brings a range of benefits, such as the potential to  include a children’s play area,  affordable housing, or community hall facility. It will also  increase the financial contribution we make to the local authority which can then be reinvested in local infrastructure.”

Resident Bernadette Hardern,  of Tiverton, said: “My personal  concern is there is no infrastructure whatsoever, no school  and no public transport, but it  seems to be full steam ahead.  The nearest pub is a mile  away.”

More than 100 people attended  a recent public exhibition of the  plans which can be viewed on  Wright Manley’s website,  www.wrightmanley.co.uk.  People are invited to send feedback on the proposals to  team@consultationworks.co.uk.

Following the consultation  period, an outline planning application will be submitted in  late summer.