Hatherleigh market still thriving

Ross Bryant
Ross Bryant

Now that a major housing development has been approved, the traditional Hatherleigh livestock market is unlikely to return. But as the town bids farewell to an age-old tradition, the market held on Tuesdays is still thriving.

The recently approved plans still offer a sheltered market space with many in the town divided over whether it is sufficient for a viable market.

Clare Tyson, Mayor of Hatherleigh, told The Moorlander: “It’s very important that we make a distinction between the former cattle market, and the Hatherleigh Market on Tuesdays. The development of Hatherleigh market has been like the town’s very own Brexit, everyone has their own opinion, so we have tried to listen to everyone’s input.”

As Town Mayor, Clare has been heavily involved in consultation with the public: “I was on the committee from the start and Kingswood Homes did the right thing by working with the local community and compromising on a number of areas that we objected to.”

Every Tuesday, the market is still bustling with visitors and you can find all manner of goods for sale. Many travel for miles to go shopping or just to catch up with friends. The market acts as a social occasion for those travelling from isolated rural communities throughout Devon.

Clare Tyson added: “Kingswood Homes are a relatively small developer, the homes they build are more bespoke and individual looking, as opposed to the kind of houses built by the big developers.
I also think the current owners of the market site have done the right thing by waiting for the local plan to be published before taking any action.
We’ve all known that new housing development was a possibility for years. My advice to anyone in Hatherleigh who cares about the development is to join the council. We still have some empty seats and if you want to get things done in
Hatherleigh, then joining the council is sure way to make things happen.”

Lawrence has been running a large stall at the market for some time. “We’re trying to be positive about the new development, my only concern is that I won’t have enough space to make it viable for myself.”

David and his wife have been going to
Hatherleigh for over forty years. They sell a variety of garden plants from their pitch. “The market has to stay,” says David.

“People come for miles to come here, we’ve got customers that come from Exmoor, Plymouth and North Devon. We’ve been here for years and we deserve to stay here a few more.”

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