Newmarket magistrates' court to finally get new use after two decades
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Newmarket's former magistrates' court which closed more than two decades ago is to finally get a new lease of life as luxury apartments, after planning permission was approved last week.
West Suffolk Council gave the green light on November 27 for plans by Knightsbridge Real Estate Asset Management Ltd to turn the old court and police station in Vicarage Road into 15 apartments.
The court was among a number in the region to cease judicial business during the Government's 1998 scale-back of facilities.
Those will now be transformed into eight one-bedroom flats, five two-bedroom flats and two-three bedroom properties.
John Livock, director at Knightsbridge, said: "They are going to be fairly luxury apartments, close to the town centre, close to Tattersalls, and close to the high street, so I would like to think it will go very well."
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The application design statement said the proposals will be "maintaining the existing character and street scene to both Vicarage Road and Lisburn Road" and "draw heavily on the distinctive local architectural features of the existing building and enhance the character of the site".
It added that the overall plans will "result in a significant enhancement to the urban setting".
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The site had existing outline planning permission for 12 flats in 2019 before Knightsbridge acquired it in February this year, with Mr Livock describing the revised 15-apartment proposals as "a much, much better scheme".
Solar panels, dedicated car parking and electric vehicle charging points are also to be included.
The plans include a £17,268 contribution for pre-school provision, £34,536 towards a primary school and £25,000 sum for public open space.
It is not yet clear if the new properties will be for buying or rental, but work is anticipated to begin sometime in spring 2021 and expected to take between nine and 12 months to complete.
According to the application, the building dates back to the end of the 19th Century with late 20th Century additions which included an underpass.
There were no objections from the town council or The Jockey Club, but the latter did request that contractors are mindful of passing racehorses when work begins.