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Does old convenant ban boozing on old cattle market?
Hereford’s £90 million retail development plan has been hit by the possibility of an alcohol ban that dates back more than 50 years.
Opponents of the development say the ban – outlined as a covenant in title deeds covering the city’s old cattle market – may not have been lifted properly, if at all – leaving shops, bars and cafes due to move onto the old livestock site unable to sell beers, wines and spirits.
Both Herefordshire Council and site developer Stanhope say the covenant, dating from 1958, is overridden by the council’s "appropriation" of the old cattle market – the site the authority has always stressed it owned almost all of – that cleared the way for the development.
Councillor Mark Hubbard, leader of the It’s Our County group on the council, found the covenant during his research of title deeds to the old market and says he interprets it as "absolutely and in perpetuity" prohibiting the sale of alcohol on the site.
The covenant relating to "land and buildings on the west side of Widemarsh Street, Hereford" was placed in 1958 for the benefit of the freeholder of the then Old Harp Inn, now the Herdsman and owned by Admiral Taverns.
In a statement, the council said covenants such as that on the cattle market were not unusual.
It said: "This particular covenant was disclosed to Stanhope at the start of the process some years ago, along with a whole range of technical matters.
"The development agreement takes full account of these."