Plans revealed for historic St Ives building

How the Octagon in St Ives could look if plans - and a licence - are agreed.

How the Octagon in St Ives could look if plans - and a licence - are agreed. - Credit: Archant

The applicants behind a plan to transform one of the area’s historic buildings into a family restaurant and live music venue have given an assurance to The Hunts Post that it will not be used as a night club.

The Octagon in St Ives, which dates back to 1886 and once formed part of the town’s cattle market, is the subject of a licensing application on November 18, which, if granted, could pave the way for planning consent, possibly in the new year, to convert the building.

A consortium of interested parties is behind the plans, which include a restaurant, coffee shop and outside eating area, to refurbish the building, which has stood empty for 10 years and is currently being used for waste storage.

One of businessmen behind the plans, who asked not to be named at this stage, confirmed that although all the details had not yet been finalised, the venue at Market Hill would mainly be serving food with “minimal live music”.

He said: “It is not going to be a nightclub – it will be a classy family restaurant that will complement the town of St Ives and provide something new and exciting for local people as well as tourists and visitors.

“We are currently sourcing original artifacts from the old cattle market which we hope to display in the restaurant and we aim to work closely with the council and heritage groups to retain and preserve the history of the building.”

However, a group calling itself Save The Octagon has set up a website as it is calling for the “iconic building” to be refurbished for community use.

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“It is the last remaining commercial building from the great St Ives Cattle Market and it was the auction ring,” says the group’s website.

“We want to support the development of the town centre as an attractive space for local people and visitors,” say members of the support group. Adding: “We can’t explore these options if it is sold or leased for a bar before the community has been properly consulted and plans have been developed.”

The businessman added: “The building has stood empty for 10 years and is being used to store market waste so we don’t really understand some of these concerns. Our plans will create something for old and young people in the town and restore this wonderful old building.”

Huntingdonshire District Council has also received objections to the plans from residents concerned about noise, litter and increased crime.