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Jockey Club puts controversial housing plans on hold

The Jockey Club has put on hold plans to build 145 homes for racing workers in Newmarket after a public backlash against the proposals.

At a packed town council meeting on Monday, about 120 concerned residents were told by William Gittus, group property director for the Jockey Club and planning adviser to Jockey Club Estates, that the application would be paused.

The Jockey Club had submitted the plans to build houses in Hamilton Road and Philipps Close, all of which were set to be let to racing workers and managed by the town-based charity Racing Welfare.

Some 120 people attended Newmarket Town Council on Monday (20559308)
Some 120 people attended Newmarket Town Council on Monday (20559308)

But since plans were made public there has been an outcry against the proposals, with residents in the area voicing their concerns about increased traffic, loss of bio-diversity, and over-development.

Mr Gittus told Monday’s meeting that concerns had been raised which had not appeared in its consultation in 2017.

“We want to take time to fully consider those points before we proceed,” he said.

“It matters to Jockey Club Estates that whatever proposals are taken forward are fully understood by the local community, together with the accompanying reasons and explanations,” he said.

“While it is unrealistic to expect any residential planning application to get universal approval, in this case and as an active member of this community, we acknowledge the concerns being registered warrant us taking further time to review and fully consider them.”

The decision mean the plans will go out to a public consultation and not appear in any upcoming development control committees at West Suffolk Council.

Cllr Rachel Hood, Newmarket’s mayor, said: “We have been assured at this point the plan is not proceeding and they will not proceed without public consultation so nobody here needs to be concerned something is going to happen with this plan.”

Town councillors unanimously backed a proposal that there should be a public consultation into the proposed development if the plans come back.

The authority also agreed to back its planning committee’s stance objecting to the new estate.

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