Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

Newmarket: Suffolk County Council wades in to Hatchfield Farm row

08:00 06 February 2014

The Hatchfield Farm site in Newmarket

The Hatchfield Farm site in Newmarket

Archant

Suffolk County Council has waded into the row over controversial plans for 400 homes in west Suffolk after urging its district counterpart to consider the wider context.

shares

The county council has penned a lengthy letter to Forest Heath in the latest twist to the saga over Hatchfield Farm in Newmarket.

The main thrust of the letter surrounds Forest Heath having to decide the application without a confirmed local plan, which is in the process of being finalised.

Its core strategy had to be thrown out in 2011 after its provision for Hatchfield Farm was successfully challenged in the High Court.

The letter also questions the development’s impact on the horse racing industry, as well as traffic and school places.

Suffolk County councillor for the area, Lisa Chambers, said: “Newmarket is a unique town with very specific needs.

“These include the yet to be finalised requirement for more housing, but also the imperative to make sure the area remains attractive to the horse racing industry, on which so many people rely for work.

“This development will create the need for at least 100 additional primary school places but, in the absence of an adopted local plan and a suitable identified site for a new school, it becomes harder to ensure that proper provision will be made.

“This is a critical issue in any large-scale development and must be looked at carefully before any development is considered.”

Proposals for 1,200 homes at Hatchfield Farm were rejected by Forest Heath in 2010, and by a planning inspector in 2012 after an appeal by applicant Lord Derby.

A recent independent report found the horse racing industry supports around 3,285 full-time equivalent jobs within 25 miles of Newmarket, and contributes more than £200 million to the economy.

Rebekah Paczek, a spokeswoman for Hatchfield Farm, said the reduced application had come about after extensive consultation with more than 200 people at a public exhibition and 100 through on-street surveys.

She added: “The Economic Impact of Horseracing Report paints a picture of a thriving and growing industry and not one which would be adversely affected by 400 dwellings at Hatchfield Farm.

“Through working together we can bring forward positive development which support the horse-racing industry, infrastructure and the requirements of the wider Newmarket community.”

She also pointed to the former St Felix Middle School site, in Fordham Road, as a “ready-made school site”, adding: “Suffolk County Council should be planning for a new primary school on this well-located site using contributions from new development, such as Hatchfield Farm.”

Richard Smith, county council cabinet member for economic development, planning and environment, said: “The county council believes that to do our best by Newmarket, and to ensure that the town remains attractive to the horse racing industry, the local plan offers our best opportunity for managing new development.

“It is therefore disappointing that Forest Heath is being asked to consider this development in isolation and on an ad hoc basis.”

Allocating sites for housing in Newmarket proved a major sticking point in discussions by Forest Heath’s local plan working group late last year.

Hatchfield Farm was allocated 700 homes as part of Newmarket’s quota, but the final allocation remains far from decided.

A Forest Heath spokeswoman said: “Suffolk County Council is a consultee on all our planning applications and their comments will be considered by the Development Control Committee, along with responses from other organisations and individuals, before any decision is made.”

shares

0 comments

Police are investigating the incidents

Police are investigating a third incident of a woman in Ipswich being inappropriately touched.

Suffolk Show 2015 
Food hall

Food retailers at the Suffolk Show have insisted the county has a “growing reputation” across the country for its “exceptional” produce.

Sheep ready for judging head to the Presidents Ring

A role demonstration by a Wattisham-based Apache attack helicopter was widely praised by spectators at the Suffolk Show today.

The sun shines for the first day of the Suffolk Show 2015.

We are bringing you live updates this morning from Trinity Park as day one of the Suffolk Show gets underway.

Police have closed the road

The A120 in Wix, near Marks Tey has been closed following a serious road traffic crash.

Suffolk Constabulary launch the Special Constables on Horseback scheme at the Suffolk Show.

A police campaign to recruit horseback-mounted special constables to patrol the Suffolk countryside and combat rural crime was launched in the Grand Ring.

Terry Walden is pictured at the back of Bury Railway Station outside the building he is planning to transform into The Milkmaid Folk Music Arts Centre.

An urgent call for fundraising is being made to get a project for a folk art centre for disadvantaged and vulnerable people off the ground.

Police have had the results back

Results from toxicology testing on five suspected drugs overdoses in Bury St Edmunds have confirmed the cause of the medical conditions were caused by the high purity of the substances.

Cancer survivor Oliver Rofix, who was saved from a rare and deadly form of leukaemia by a bone marrow donation in 2006, will drive a 1952 Nuffield Tractor from Lands End to John O'Groats in September raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust.

Suffolk cancer survivor Olly Rofix has barely given himself time to dwell on overcoming the disease following a bone marrow transplant in 2006.

Police are investigating the incident

Police are investigating a suspected indecent exposure on a bus in Colchester.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages