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End in sight for Newmarket High Street eyesore as inspector rules in favour of new 123-home development

After a battle with local planners that has lasted nearly 40 years, Stetchworth property magnate Bill Gredley has won his battle to build homes on former racing stable paddocks in Newmarket.

But the trade-off is that Mr Gredley will have to make good on his pledge to fully restore the historic Queensbury Lodge, and its associated stables, whose dilapidated condition have blighted the High Street for decades, before a single new house is occupied.

.Yesterday planning inspector Paul Clark issued his decision on three planning appeals linked to Queensbury Lodge and Fitzroy paddocks lodged by Mr Gredley’s family’s companies which own the sites.

He decided to allow 123 new homes to be built on the seven acres of paddocks, which until 1988 had been part of Fitzroy House stables. The number is 73 more than had been allocated in the district’s local plan and the development will also include a new convenience store, and the part demolition, conversion, and extension, of the former White Lion pub as well as public open space and land reserved for a dedicated horsewalk.

In his decision report, Mr Clark said one of the main issues with the appeals was whether the development proposals would secure the restoration and long term future use of the historic Grade II listed Queensbury Lodge and its associated cottage and stables, which date back to the last 19th century, as Mr Gredley had always promised.

And in granting planning permission for the new homes he imposed a condition that no development could take place before details of the restoration, refurbishment, and reuse, of all three listed buildings had been submitted and approved by West Suffolk Council.

He also stipulated that once the new development had been carried out no homes could be occupied until all the work on Queensbury Lodge had been completed.

“They are a rare survival of one of the earliest racing stable groups in Newmarket,” said Mr Clark. “They document the development of the horse racing industry with which Newmarket is synonymous internationally and from which the town has evolved. The group is associated with leading historic figures in the horseracing industry.”

The inspector dismissed two of the appeals relating to the demolition of two end stables and the installation of gates at Queensbury Lodge