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Newmarket's Hatchfield Farm masterplan set to be adopted by district council

Hatchfield Farm map (7716946)
Hatchfield Farm map (7716946)

The latest masterplan for Newmarket’s controversial Hatchfield Farm development is set to be adopted by a district council tonight.

Members of Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s joint committee are expected to to approve the 49-page document as informal planning guidance.

It means that the plan, which sets out how the 400-home estate would look if built, would be taken into account when a decision was taken on planning application or appeal.

The legally required document gives district planners a detailed layout of the proposed development and demonstrates that the architects have a full understanding of the scheme and how it would be built.

The latest masterplan was first seen by the public in December and sets out plans to build 400 houses on the site, of which 120 would be classified as ‘affordable’, a site for a new primary school and an ‘early years setting’, and 12 acres of employment land.

It also includes details for traffic lights on the Junction 37 slip roads, which developers said would increase the capacity and safety of the A142 Fordham Road and A14 intersection.

But, as part of the changes to the plan since consultation closed, it recognised Highways England might push for more upgrades at the junction and the document said it would consult with Suffolk County Council and the highways body at the time of a further planning application to see if land should be set aside for a larger improvement scheme.

Another alteration to the plan is the recognition of the emerging Neighbourhood Plan, which encourages open, green space in new developments.

The expected adoption is the latest move in a near decade-long saga surrounding Lord Derby’s plans for the Fordham Road site, which are currently in the hands of Housing Secretary James Brokenshire with a public inquiry expected to open in May.

A spokesman for Lord Derby said: “We continue to believe that 400 homes along with significant improvements to the road network, major investment in the Rayes Lane horse crossing and the provision of land for a new school is an appropriate and sustainable development on this site.”