To try and help clarify some questions that people have asked we have produced the following. We will be adding to this as and when further relevant questions are asked. The date in the title is when it was last updated. The most recent question(s) have been added at the bottom and marked with an *
What is Hatherleigh market?
The site is a 10 acre area between the old town and the bypass, on which several different markets currently operate.
The most well known is every Tuesday, and includes a large pannier market, with a bric a brac auction and a fur and feathers auction.
Since 2001, legislation resulting from the Foot and Mouth outbreak has required the livestock market to run on different days when there are fewer people present and therefore less risk of disease being transferred. Currently the sheep market is held on Monday, and the cattle market is held on Thursday.
Are any of the markets likely to close?
The site owner has employed developers to put together plans for redevelopment of the site. This is as a result of falling livestock sales and insufficient income from other elements of the markets. For example, sheep sales through Hatherleigh market are now only 10% of what they were in 1990.
This situation is common to many markets across the country, and many far bigger markets have already closed such as Banbury, which was previously the largest livestock market in Europe.
To compound this situation significant investment is needed to improve the existing facilities to meet regulations and improve safety on the site. This investment cannot realistically be recouped within a reasonable timescale.
As a result of these circumstances, it is highly likely that the livestock market will close.
As part of the redevelopment, there is an opportunity to improve the existing pannier market, either by relocating it and enhancing it or by setting up a new street market instead. The owner has specifically instructed the developers to include a pannier market or new street market in their designs.
Where does the number of 170 houses come from?
This figure comes from the draft Core Strategy that was published by West Devon Borough Council in 2005, and was the new housing target that they set for Hatherleigh. This was part of the overall requirement for new houses in West Devon set by central government, which is shared between the towns and villages in the area.
Since then the Core Strategy has been amended (and adopted) in April 2011. That document does not mention any specific number of houses for Hatherleigh.
The ideas that the developers put up at the consultation in July did not specify a number. The final amount of housing as part of this development is yet to be established.
Will the plans include sufficient parking?
Any new houses in the plans will include parking spaces which is now a legal requirement.
It is recognised that sufficient parking is required for the pannier/street market to be successful and the field across the by-pass is being considered for potential overflow parking. This is still at an early stage and full details will be available when the plans are made available for consultation in October.
Who will decide what happens in the end?
The developers will come up with a plan which may include options for the community to consider. They intend to make this publicly available in October 2011 for comment, and based on this consultation any final adjustments will be made. They will then submit a final plan to the Planning Department of West Devon Borough Council, who will make the final decision as to whether or not the outline plans are permitted.
How are Hatherleigh Town Council involved in the development plans?
As representatives of the community in Hatherleigh, Hatherleigh Town Council is being kept informed as the plans progress, so that we can pass the information on to the rest of the community. We have invited the developers to attend some of our monthly Town Council meetings for them to keep us up to date and to enable us to ask questions about the development, and we then share this information publicly as soon as it is available. We also have the opportunity to make suggestions through this process.
We publish all of the key facts on our website, www.hatherleightowncouncil.org, and on our notice boards.
There are no written plans at this time, and therefore there is only limited information available to share with the community at this time. Once a little more information is known, we will consult more formally with the community so that we can ensure that we are representing the community’s views in our discussions with the developers.
Did the Council ‘break with tradition’ to hold an August meeting?
Normally we do not hold a meeting in August as this is the time of year that our town clerk usually takes her summer holiday. However, this year she took her holiday earlier in the year and the July meeting was cancelled instead. As it happens, we did schedule a short meeting in July in the end as there were some planning applications that we needed to review.
The August meeting was a normal monthly council meeting and was not a planning meeting regarding the market site nor a consultation event.
Are any Hatherleigh Town Councillors paid for their roles?
No. We are all volunteers. None of us receive any payment at all for the hours that we put in, nor for our expenses (e.g. fuel for attending meetings, etc). Occasionally, a Councillor may purchase something on behalf of the Council and then reclaim the costs of this item. When this happens it appears in the minutes of the meeting which can be scrutinised on our website or on our noticeboard.
Who should I talk to if I have ideas or concerns about the development?
You can talk to any of the Town Councillors to share your ideas and concerns, and we will ensure they are passed on to the developers.
You may also want to speak to our District Councillor, Christine Hall on firstname.lastname@example.org , whose responsibility it is to represent the views of the community to the Planning Authority, West Devon Borough Council.
Can I get more involved in the future market plans for Hatherleigh?
Yes. Hatherleigh Town Council will be setting up a working party which will include some Councillors, and some other community members. This group will meet regularly to discuss the plans for the market as they develop and to ensure that the whole community is involved in the process. If this is of interest to you, please contact us through our website, or talk to any of the Town Councillors.
We will be advertising this more widely soon, so look out for further details.
Can I get involved in other areas of development for Hatherleigh?
Yes. West Devon Borough Council is starting to work on “Plan-It” with Hatherleigh Town Council. This is a much wider community-led planning process which will look at the development of the whole town for the long term future. There are seven main themes: Economy, Environment and Open Spaces, Housing, Local Facilities and Attractions, Local Services, Transport & Communications and Community Life.
We are hoping that members of the community will want to get involved in each of these areas, and together with the Town Council can have a say in the future of Hatherleigh.
If you would like to get involved with this, either talk to any of the Town Councillors, or contact West Devon Borough Council directly. More details will be put up on the town council website soon.
* According to the West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) 2005 Local Plan (Page 58) 110 houses were to be built in Hatherleigh to meet the need for housing. Since then approx 200 houses have been built, so why are 170 more houses planned?
We do not know where this magical figure of 170 house originated from. The WDBC 2005 Local Plan allocated land for approximately 110 houses in Hatherleigh. Since then, all of these houses have been built. In addition to these, a number of houses have been developed around the town and elsewhere in the parish of Hatherleigh on sites that had not been allocated. These houses have helped to meet the housing need for the town for the period 2005 – 2011.
Over the past few years WDBC has been reviewing the Local Plan and has recently adopted an updated plan for the Borough called the Core Strategy. This is a longer term plan and makes provision for new housing and other development for the period 2011 – 2026. The Core Strategy does not set any specific housing numbers for Hatherleigh but does highlight the site of the Market as an area that might come forward for future development if the business is not viable in the future.
The example plan that was displayed by the market consultants back in July did not specify any number of houses and they explained that they wanted to keep an open mind on this until they heard what the residents thought was important.