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Brickfield Stud estate in Newmarket's Exning Road given go-ahead by council

A controversial plan to build a 79- house estate in Newmarket has been given the go-ahead by district planners.

At West Suffolk Council’s development control committee on Wednesday, members backed CALA Homes’ proposal to build on land at Brickfield Stud, in Exning Road.

But Exning councillor Simon Cole warned the committee that building on stud or racing land could damage Newmarket’s world famous horseracing industry.

Development site for Brickfield Stud
Development site for Brickfield Stud

“Four paddocks is still a lot of useful equine land which must have a paddock-like value if racing is to survive. If the prices of paddocks becomes the price of building land then every trainer in Newmarket will sell their paddock land for housing and there will be no racing industry,” he said.

“The purpose of the policy is to regulate land prices of paddocks in Newmarket to save the national racing industry from housing for exactly these reasons.”

CALA Homes, as part of its planning application, submitted examples of the design of house it wants to build (18863672)
CALA Homes, as part of its planning application, submitted examples of the design of house it wants to build (18863672)

He urged the committee to throw out the application, and feared that the estate could see Exning merge into Newmarket.

Under the plans, trees will be cut down in Exning Road to make an access to the new estate, which will see a combination of one to five bedroom homes built across the six acre site.

It was the second time the committee had discussed the application. In September members deferred the application and said it was ‘premature’ because the council had not approved its site allocation plan and its single issue planning review for the Forest Heath area .

But case officer Gary Hancox told the committee that because the two policies had been passed last month the site, which used to be outside the town’s settlement boundary, was now acceptable for development.

Despite the committee hearing horses were still on the land, Neil Farnsworth, senior planning manager for the developer, said the land was no longer assigned for horseracing use in the local plan and would provide 30 per cent ‘affordable’ housing.

Committee member Cllr David David Smith said he had concerns about where the affordable housing was located and described it as ‘ghettoising’ one corner of the estate, but planning officers said the locations were preferred by housing associations.

Cllr Roger Dicker told the committee he thought the plan was ‘excellent’ and ticked ‘all the right boxes’ for him.

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