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Newmarket's Hatchfield Farm debate continues in Memorial Hall meeting

About 20 residents for and against the development discussed their positions at the event on Sunday.
About 20 residents for and against the development discussed their positions at the event on Sunday.

A meeting to discuss controversial plans to build on Hatchfield Farm in Newmarket ended abruptly when several supporters of building the 450 house estate left the Memorial Hall discussion at the weekend.

Sunday’s fractious session saw the future of the horseracing industry set against the need for new homes as supporters and opponents of the scheme had their say.

Ollie Bowen said he had organised the event ‘to get people’s voices heard’. He said he supported building the estate because it would bring ‘affordable homes and investment into the town’.

And Rebekah Paczek, representing landowner Lord Derby, who is seeking planning permission for the site, said the development would improve the A14 slipway at Junction 37 with traffic lights.

Resident Gary Dillon said: “People need to acknowledge that we do have a real behemoth on our doorstep in the name of Cambridge. Newmarket, for better or worse, is within the commuter field of Cambridge. There does need to be more houses built. We have to face up to reality that Cambridge is doing really well and Newmarket needs a piece of that action.”

But former mayor Cllr Andy Drummond argued that Newmarket needed to be ‘very careful’ of the possible impact on the town of combined authority boss James Palmer’s plans which would see ‘Cambridge become the size of Manchester by the 2030s’.

Other opponents of the scheme argued the increased volumes of traffic would harm the racing industry, pose a possible danger to valuable racehorses crossing the town on horsewalks, and threaten Newmarket’s place as the headquarters of racing and the ‘unique’ green surroundings of the heath.

What do you think about Hatchfield? Email dan.barker@newmarketjournal.co.uk.


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