Policy not to blame for town ‘eyesore’

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Latest news from the Newmarket Journal, newmarketjournal.co.uk, @nktjournal on Twitter

Property developer Bill Gredley should work with the authorities to find a solution to the High Street eyesore Queensbury Lodge.

After giving evidence at a planning inquiry resulting from Mr Gredley’s Unex appeal against a decision by Forest Heath District Council not to allow him to build a large superstore on a site partly occupied by the historic stables, William Gittus, chairman of the Newmarket Horsemen’s Group, said: “Whatever the reason for the current sorry state of Queensbury Lodge Stables, the Newmarket Horsemen’s Group shares in the wish of many others to see these historic buildings put back into use and a good state of repair, so that they provide a fitting entrance to the town and, as has been expressed many times before, we are very willing to work with the council and Unex to achieve this.”

Since being bought by Unex, more than 25 years ago, the stables and two large paddocks, which once formed part of Fitzroy Stables, have been left unused despite 
reported attempts to purchase them for racing-related uses.

Giving evidence, Mr Gittus took Unex to task over their claim that the town’s planning policies were to blame for the property’s state of disrepair.

“The strength of the racing policies has been to protect the land resource essential to the racing industry through good times and bad,” he told the inquiry.

“It cannot be right that a property owner can circumvent these policies by excluding horses from the property for a given period of time.

“Anyone who allows that precedent to be set is hammering the first nail into the coffin of the success of Newmarket and its growth potential.”

The inquiry continues.