Racing yard saved from redevelopment

By Benedict O'ConnorAN HISTORIC horseracing stable has been saved after a plan to turn it into a state-of-the-art equine hospital was thrown out by a planning inspector.

By Benedict O'Connor

AN HISTORIC horseracing stable has been saved after a plan to turn it into a state-of-the-art equine hospital was thrown out by a planning inspector.

Equine vets Greenwood, Ellis and Partners wanted to move their practice to Kremlin Stud in Newmarket.

It had appealed against Forest Heath District Council's decision to refuse planning permission for the change of use of the yard.

The stud lies in the town's conservation area, close to the Severals, leading to Warren Hill and the surrounding gallops, and part of the plan had included the demolition of some existing stable blocks.

Following a three-day public inquiry held earlier this year, planning inspector David Nicholson has now dismissed the appeal and ruled the yard must remain in use solely as a training establishment.

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Mr Nicholson said in his report, published yesterday: “I acknowledge that, of itself, the proposal would assist the racing industry by allowing one of the two main equine veterinary practices to expand.

“However, while developing the equine hospital elsewhere would be unlikely to cause appreciable damage to the racing industry in Newmarket, I have found that the loss of a training yard would cause significant harm.”

Mr Nicholson added the development would have harmed the appearance of the conservation area.

The plan had been fiercely opposed by members of the racing community, including top trainer Luca Cumani, who currently uses the yard, and Peter Amos, managing director of Jockey Club Estates.

Mr Cumani said: “I'm absolutely delighted, it was obviously the right decision. It's a very nice yard and it's ideally located. I've trained two Derby winners from that yard and, hopefully, now I can train another.”

Local planning policy prevents Newmarket's racehorse training yards from being used for other purposes in order to preserve the town's racing heritage and relationship with the sport.

It had been feared if the project had been allowed to go ahead, it would open the door for other trainers in the town to sell to housing developers

Mr Amos, who told the inquiry that Newmarket could not afford to lose any training yards, said: “It would have been crazy if the appeal had been upheld, it would have flown in the face of local planning policy.

“Having said that, Greenwood, Ellis is essential to Newmarket and I will now do my best to help them to find an alternative.”

David Ellis, of Greenwood Ellis, said the dismissal of its appeal had been a disappointment and added: “We thought it was a good appeal that had a decent hearing.”

The practice had wanted to move from its current premises in High Street, which it felt was no longer large enough to accommodate the business. Mr Ellis said he and his partners had no firm plans for an alternative site.


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