DEVELOPERS say the “legacy” for a market town will continue as plans for a site have finally been submitted.

It was announced in February 2020 that the historic Wimborne Market in Station Terrace would close.

In October this year McCarthy & Stone had plans for a “flagship” retirement village approved.

And Ensors Ltd have now submitted plans for a new showground and events facility at the Wimborne Showground at Lake Gates.

A design and access statement from Planning Base Ltd submitted as part of the application said: “The site is approximately 800 metres west of Wimborne Minster itself, so it is well connected to the town of Wimborne generally.

“The application site can be divided into three components. The land south of the A31; and then the ‘north field’ and ‘south field’ as demarked on the submitted plans.

“This will be a much-needed facility and will allow for the town of Wimborne to continue to be able to hold a market given that the previous market at Station Terrace in the town has now been the subject of an approval for a McCarthy & Stone retirement development.

“This proposal therefore will be of huge benefit to the town, catering for market traders and visitors to the markets for one, but also for persons interested in using the new public amenity facility which will include a perimeter fitness trail; areas for dog walkers; children’s play areas; picnic benches and wild meadows.”

Thomas Ensor founded a market in Wimborne 1855, and it has been running ever since.

Bosses blamed “excessively high business rates” and “changing shopping habits” for the closure in February 2020.

Bournemouth Echo: Wimborne Market closed at its long-running site last yearWimborne Market closed at its long-running site last year

A letter from Ensors to traders at the time said: “Due to excessively high business rates and changing shopping habits, we regret to say that the Wimborne Market will cease operating from its current location later in 2020. It is financially unviable on the present site.”

The site remained open however, until McCarthy & Stone had planning approved for their retirement development earlier this year.

The scheme includes 67 apartments, 26 bungalows, six chalet bungalows, all of which are age restricted for older people, a wellness centre and nine open-market houses.

Bournemouth Echo: CGI of McCarthy Stone's plans for the former Wimborne Market siteCGI of McCarthy Stone's plans for the former Wimborne Market site

A spokesperson for McCarthy & Stone said construction of the project is set to begin in early 2022.