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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 January 2008, 18:13 GMT
New site found for cattle market
Hailsham cattle market
Hailsham cattle market has been in the town for 750 years
A new plot has been identified for the oldest cattle market in Sussex, whose future has been in doubt since Aldi supermarket bought its current site.

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) said a 10-acre site next to the Diplocks roundabout on the A22 had been found for 752-year-old Hailsham market.

Hailsham Market Action Group (HMAG) had taken out a two-year option to purchase the land at a fixed price.

It will now develop a business plan and seek outline planning permission.

German chain Aldi has been attempting to build on the Market Street site for more than three years.

It is a member of Hailsham Market Partnership, along with local authorities and business groups, which has been working to secure funding for a new market.

'More secure'

Farmer Phil Hook, chairman of HMAG, said the new site was "really good news".

"The future for Hailsham market, and the farmers who depend on it, looks much more secure in the long term.

"We look forward to receiving great support for this exciting relocation."

The new market will be managed by a not-for-profit company owned by farmers.

It would have improved facilities and meet the highest standards of animal welfare, the NFU said.

A rural business centre on the site would include local food retailers and veterinary suppliers and provide work for Hailsham residents.

"A modern livestock market and rural business centre would provide real reassurance to farmers that red meat production has a positive future," said NFU spokesman James Mulleneux.

Planning permission for the supermarket was refused in November last year because of the historical and economic significance of the market.

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