Homes plan causing further controversy

CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to build 1,200 have vowed to to continue despite councillors agreeing to accept the scheme as part of its future development strategy.

Members of Forest Heath District Council voted to accept a major document called a core strategy report which will guide the future of development in the district for the next 21 years.

Part of the strategy involves plans to build 1,200 new homes in Newmarket.

But the Save Historic Newmarket Action Group (SHNAG) made a plea to councillors to delay a decision for 30 days to allow the new Government to rule on the future of the regional spatial strategies, which set housing targets – and which the Conservatives made a pre-election promise to scrap.

A delay would have also meant the policy decision would have come after councillors had made a decision on Lord Derby’s planning application to develop his land at Hatchfield Farm in Fordham Road in the town.

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Rachel Hood, one of the group’s leaders, said: “We are completely at a loss why some of the Conservative councillors voted this through.”

She said they believed the council’s report on the matter had been “scaremongering tactics”.

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In the report, planning bosses warned that councillors could face legal action and extra costs if they did not adopt the report which endorses development in “north east Newmarket” – the area where Lord Derby’s 160 acres of land lies between the A14 and Fordham Road.

The council voted by a majority to accept the report – subject to a review of housing targets.

Newmarket’s horseracing industry is opposing the homes plan, which it says will jeopardise the future of the town as the historic headquarters of racing.

The scheme is also being opposed by Tattersalls, the racehorse auctioneers, which has engaged planning consultants on behalf of the rest of the industry, Jockey Club Estates and bodies representing racehorse breeders and trainers.

Lord Derby’s planning application is due to be considered by the district council on June 2. SHNAG is encouraging people to continue to oppose the scheme and attend the annual town meeting on May 24 when any issue can be raised by residents.

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