LORD Derby has lost his planning appeal to build 1,200 homes on Hatchfield Farm in Newmarket, the Journal can reveal.
Rachel Hood, chairman of Save Historic Newmarket Action Group (Shnag), which spearheaded the campaign against the plans, said she was delighted after receiving the inspector’s full adjudication in the post this morning.
“We are incredibly grateful to Matthew Hancock MP, to the inspector and to Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State, for understanding the unique and historic nature of Newmarket and the racing and breeding industries,” she said.
“We have been working relentlessly for four years and we are over the moon.”
Matthew Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, said he “warmly welcomed” the decision to reject the proposal for the homes and a retail park at the site, off Fordham Road.
The original proposal for the scheme was rejected by Newmarket Town Council and Forest Heath District Council in June 2010.
Mr Hancock said: “I welcome the decision today to reject the inappropriate planning application at Hatchfield Farm.
“The inspector has upheld the decision of the council that 1,200 houses is wrong for Newmarket, and would harm its economy, which is intertwined with its role as the global home of horse racing.
“Now we need to put aside differences and work together to improve the future of a town for the benefit of all.”
The decision was expected to be announced on April 5.
Lord Derby said he was disappointed with the Secretary of State’s decision, but added: “I am pleased that both he and the Inspector concluded that the proposal would not have had an adverse impact on the horse racing industry, despite what has been repeatedly claimed.
“Similarly they found no fault with the scheme’s highway proposals. They also confirmed that Newmarket is the most sustainable town in the district, the housing needs of which could still, I believe, be served by Hatchfield.
“I will now be taking the time to digest more fully the Inspector’s report, before deciding on any future course of action.”
See next Thursday’s Newmarket Journal for a full report.