Published: Thursday, 8th September 2016
Communities Secretary refuses outline permission for 400-home development at Hatchfield Farm in Newmarket...
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has gone against the advice of the inspector and refused outline permission for a 400-home development in Newmarket following a call-in inquiry. He cited the impact on the horse racing industry as the main factor.
The scheme proposed by Lord Derby for some 20-hectares of agricultural land at his Hatchfield Farm had been backed by the planning authority Forest Heath District Council and was supported by the highway authority, Suffolk County Council, because the project would contribute improvements to both the local and strategic road network.
The site is on the northern side of Newmarket close to the junction of the Fordham Road and the A14.
Four years ago the then Secretary of State refused outline permission for the redevelopment of the whole of Hatchfield farm with up to 1,200 new dwellings, 36,000 square metres of employment floor space, 1,000 square metres of community facilities as well a park and ride project and a site for a new primary school.
Javid acknowledged that the latest scheme was in accordance with the emerging local development plan and would mean the provision of much-needed market and affordable housing albeit that the LPA could demonstrate a five-year supply of sites for housing without the scheme.
The Secretary of State argued that the threat to the horse racing industry carried substantial weight, particularly the risks arising from increased traffic and congestion at a junction used widely by racehorses. He also said that the loss of countryside and the best and most versatile agricultural land also counted against the proposal.