It’s time to act on eyesore

Pressure is mounting on a council to finally do something about a former Newmarket stable yard whose appearance continues to blight the entrance to the town.

Last week planning inspector John Gray dismissed two appeals by stable owner Bill Gredley’s Unex Group which wanted to build an Asda supermarket on part of the Queensbury Lodge stables site. The Stetchworth-based racehorse owner and breeder had also challenged Forest Heath District Council’s refusal to let him put a car park for the store on paddocks at the rear of Fitzroy House stables.

Since he bought the heritage listed stables more than a quarter of a century ago, Mr Gredley has tried and failed on numerous occasions to change their use, losing every planning appeal lodged.

Over that time, the buildings have been allowed to deteriorate and become an eyesore. At last year’s annual town meeting, Forest Heath chief executive, Ian Gallin, was quizzed by a resident who said if he allowed his property to get into such a state, the council would have made him do something about it. Similar questions are likely to be asked at next month’s town meeting. Mr Gredley said it was “all back to square one” but added: “We are not worried. The site has got to be developed in some way and we will be talking to the council about what we can put on it.”

Cllr Rona Burt, district cabinet member for planning said: “I am pleased that the matter has been decided in our favour. We will now look at working proactively with the site owner to resolve the outstanding issues of the Listed Buildings at Risk on the site and an appropriate scheme which would conform with the Local Plan Policies for Heritage and Horse Racing.”