Lord Derby to challenge Secretary of State’s decision to block Hatchfield development

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Lord Derby has confirmed his intention to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision not to allow his Hatchfield Farm development in the High Court.

“I’m clearly very disappointed that the Secretary of State made the surprise decision to overturn the clear recommendation of the planning inspector and Forest Heath District Council to approve the sustainable development of Hatchfield Farm,” he said today.

“The plans for Hatchfield Farm reflect an emerging Local Plan allocation, respect the heritage and unique nature of Newmarket and set out a clear and realistic plan for building much-needed new homes in the town. This is a need which cannot be met if the Secretary of State’s decision stands because it effectively rules out any further development in the town.

We know from ongoing discussions that there continues to be a great deal of support for developing Hatchfield Farm - both for the homes it delivers and for the £6.9m of social, economic and infrastructure benefits it would bring. These include significant improvements that would benefit the horse-racing industry.”

The peer, who owns Newmarket’s Stanley House Stud and whose ancestral home is Knowsley Hall near Liverpool, will be joining forces with the Rural Parishes Alliance, a group formed two years ago comprising 15 local parishes, including Moulton and Kentford, which were concerned their villages were ill-equipped to deal with new housing.

“We hope this will finally give us the chance to reach an agreement with the horse racing industry and the wider community on the future of Hatchfield Farm – one that delivers the balanced growth and investment Newmarket deserves,” said Lord Derby.

The deadline to mount the challenge is Tuesday October 11.