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Newmarket Town Council resists plans to build houses on former St Felix Middle School site



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Town councillors have lodged a raft of objections to plans to use more than half of a former Newmarket middle school site for housing.

They are adamant that the whole of the St Felix site in the town’s Fordham Road should be retained to provide sporting and recreational facilities for residents.

At a meeting on Monday they outlined the objections they have put forward as part of the official consultation carried out on behalf of Suffolk County Council which ended on Wednesday.

St Felix Middle school site in Newmarket. Picture by Mark Westley
St Felix Middle school site in Newmarket. Picture by Mark Westley

The county authority which owns the site, which has stood empty for more than a decade, wants to build 50 houses on it and it has been designated as a site for housing in the district authority’s local plan for development.

Town councillors said they believed there had been inadequate consultation with sports club and organisations in Newmarket regarding their needs and the current lack of publicly accessible recreational space in the town.

And they said they thought the objectives of the current design brief for the site had not been met because it had almost eliminated sports facilities from the site.

Town councillors have lodged a raft of objections to plans to use more than half of a former Newmarket middle school site for housing. Picture by Mark Westley
Town councillors have lodged a raft of objections to plans to use more than half of a former Newmarket middle school site for housing. Picture by Mark Westley

Speaking at the meeting, resident Sara Beckett said she believed it was possible to change housing allocations in the local plan and suggested that the other former middle school site, Scaltback, which is also owned by the county council, should have been been the preferred site for residential development with St Felix used for sport and recreation.

Mayor Cllr Michael Jefferys said the council believed more effort should be made to source funding to develop the St Felix site’s potential as a hub for sport.