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Hatchfield Farm plan returns to Secretary of State

Homes plan is back with Secretary of State
Homes plan is back with Secretary of State

An appeal against controversial plans for 400 new homes in Newmarket has been rejected, with the decision now being referred back to The Secretary of State.

The Newmarket Horsemen’s Group (NHG) had hoped the Court of Appeal would finally halt plans by Lord Derby to build the houses on land at Hatchfield Farm,

They say the plan would cause an increase in traffic, pose a threat to both racehorses using crossings and Newmarket’s reputation as the home of horse racing, itself.

The appeal was thrown out last week however, which means that the plans will now be referred back to the Secretary of State for Communities, Sajid Javid.

His earlier decision to reject the plans was overthrown by the High Court in May, which criticised the move as ‘over-cautious’.

“We are pleased that the Court of Appeal has refused NHG’s application to take the Hatchfield Farm case to the Court of Appeal,” said a spokesperson for Lord Derby.

“The decision of the High Court quashing the Secretary of State’s decision on the planning application therefore stands.

“The Secretary of State will now have the opportunity to request further submissions of evidence prior to redetermining the application.”

Lord Derby has been battling against the racing industry at least eight years over the application.

Forest Heath District Council originally approved the housing scheme in 2014, before it was intercepted by the Secretary of State.

Mr Javid said the plans threatened the horse racing industry and were also against the recommendations of his planning inspector.

Lord Derby challenged the decision arguing that Mr Javid had failed to abide by the government’s own planning policies.

William Gittus, of the NHG, which represents the racing industry, said: “Given the fact this now goes back to the Secretary of State, it would be inappropriate to comment.”

Cllr Lance Stanbury, Forest Heath’s member for planning and growth, said: “We, like everybody else, now await the decision of the Secretary of State.”

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