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Newmarket residents call for Mill Hill holiday rental to be shut down after teenager stabbed in basement room

A town council is set to demand district planners take action over a controversial holiday rental neighbours have said is making their lives miserable.

Newmarket’s town councillors on Monday said they would write to West Suffolk Council’s planning officers within weeks to once again demand the authority look into a online holiday rental in Mill Hill, and demand an enforcement notice be placed on it.

The latest call comes after a stabbing at Mill House, which is let out online, earlier this month. And residents told Newmarket Town Council’s development and planning committee the council now needed to act.

Police officerss standing guard outside Mill House in Newmarket's Mill Hill after a teenager was stabbed on June 4.
Police officerss standing guard outside Mill House in Newmarket's Mill Hill after a teenager was stabbed on June 4.

“It’s making me so ill, it needs to be shut down,” said one nearby resident. “It’s just ridiculous it has been allowed to continue and its not fair.”

The property has temporarily been closed by the landlord, but the neighbour warned that life would become worse again with upcoming sales and race meetings.

Cllr Rachel Hood told the meeting that she believed it was a change of use to the property. “It seems completely unacceptable that this situation has been allowed to continue” she said.

“This used to be a home, and it is no longer a home. It is a place that is advertised on the internet for people to rent rooms on a very urgent basis, and I don’t believe that is not a change of use.”

The meeting heard other local authorities in Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol had been able to step in when home holiday rentals had become a problem for local residents.

The council has highlighted issues at the property in the past and Cllr Michael Jefferys, mayor of Newmarket, said the failure West Suffolk Council’s planning department to act was devastating.

On June 4 a 19-year-old man was stabbed in a basement room in the complex, which is rented out through a number of online platforms including Airbnb and Booking.com.

And a neighbour, who before the stabbing had complained about the noise being caused by the group who had rented the house, was also assaulted when he was punched in the face.

And the stabbing at Mill House is the latest incident when police have had to be called to the property.

Last year the property’s owner, who does not live in Newmarket, was assaulted by a group of underage youngsters who had gained illegal access to the premises after getting the entry details from a previous guest known to them.

Neighbours were woken by the noise at 4am and by a taxi driver demanding an unpaid fare incurred by the illegal guests.

Newmarket Town Council has now formed a working group to look into its previous complaints to West Suffolk Council about the property, and is expected to write to the planning authority after their next meeting in a fortnight.

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