1,200 new home plans thrown out

CONTROVERSIAL plans for 1,200 homes on land owned by Lord Derby in Newmarket have been rejected by councillors.

Scores of protesters packed a meeting of Forest Heath District Council’s planning committee as it unanimously quashed the proposed development in Fordham Road.

Opponents to the plans claimed they would jeopardise Newmarket as a racing town and lead to increased congestion on a number of roads, including the busy A14/A142 junction.

Lord Derby, however, pledged to protect the interests of the racing industry and said the development would be phased over a number of years.

Speaking after the planning committee’s decision to turn down the scheme, newly elected West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock said: “This decision shows the local council and the new Government working together for the people of Newmarket.

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“The inappropriate development of Hatchfield Farm was being forced on Newmarket by John Prescott’s Regional Spatial Strategy.

“Thanks to the fast work of the new Government, the council has been given the freedom to make its own decision, and answered with a resounding voice: to reject this inappropriate application and banish the ghost of John Prescott from Newmarket.

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“Of course Newmarket needs more affordable housing, but ramming through a huge new greenfield development is not the way to go about it.

“We now need a sustainable vision for the future of Newmarket that recognises and supports the charm of this unique town.”

A spokesman for the Save Historic Newmarket group, which oppposed the scheme, said those “who turned out in force to hear the determination were delighted with the outcome”.

It is understood an appeal could be lodged against the council’s decision.

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