Town set for cash windfall

editorial image

Newmarket town centre is set for a cash windfall as two major supermarket chains finalise their plans to open new stores in the town.

Planning permission agreements have recently been finalised between Tesco and Morrisons and planning authority, Forest Heath District Council, which will see both making substantial cash contributions to town projects as part of statutory legal agreements.

In both cases these include £124,000 towards town centre improvements specifically to improve the look of the High Street with the redecoration of shop fronts, new signage, floral planting and street furniture.

There will also £68,000 from each developer towards improvements planned to turn Rutland Hill into a landscaped public open space, including a sculpture commemorating the work of the Newmarket-born wartime codebreaker, Bill Tutte.

On Tuesday, a public inquiry began into a decision to refuse plans for a third supermarket in the town, close to the site of the former swimming pool.

Last May, councillors refused a bid by Bill Gredley’s Unex Group for an Asda store on land bordered by Black Bear Lane, Rowley Drive, and the High Street, and including Queensbury Lodge stables, on racing, heritage and retail grounds.

Paul Shadarevian, acting for the council, said the Grade II listed buildings at Queensbury Lodge reflected “unique elements” of Newmarket’s past. “From an historical area of paddocks, graced with its elegant access way and gated entrance and its clear association with the Fitzroy Stables, it will become nothing more than a ubiquitous commercial/retail area dominated by a superstore.”

The inquiry continues.