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Jockey Club submit plans to build 145 homes for racing workers in Newmarket

Plans to build homes for racing workers in Newmarket have finally been submitted by the Jockey Club for planning permission.

But the organisation could face opposition from residents, some of whom have been opposed to the plans since they were first publicly unveiled in 2016.

The proposal is to build 145 new one, two, and three-bedroom homes across two sites just off the town’s Hamilton Road and warden controlled accommodation for 20 young people.

Land adjacent to Drinkwater Close, Newmarket (17689570)
Land adjacent to Drinkwater Close, Newmarket (17689570)

A new access road from Hamilton Road running along the back of Drinkwater Close would give access to the second phase of the proposed development, while phase one will have access from the Scaltback estate.

The sites earmarked for the new development are both owned by the Jockey Club. Philipps Close has housing already and will be re-developed with 83 new homes, while the other site has an historic allocation for racing housing dating back to the 1995 Local Plan.

Philipps Close, Newmarket (17689572)
Philipps Close, Newmarket (17689572)

Some residents at the consultations were concerned at what they called ‘double standards’ in that Jockey Club Estates, together with representatives of the town’s racing industry, had objected to the proposed Hatchfield Farm development of 400 new homes, later rejected by the Secretary of State.

When a similar scheme for a 168-home racing village was proposed 10 years ago some racehorse trainers joined residents of Churchill Avenue, Leaders Way, Drinkwater Close and Hamilton Road, in voicing their objections because of concerns about increased traffic.

Since the proposals were first unveiled some layout changes have been proposed by the applicant, including a new woodland walk through existing tree belts to link the Churchill Avenue and Philipps Close sites.

The Hamilton Road site has been increased in area from 2.7 hectares to 4.4 hectares and the proposed number of parking spaces increased by seven to 91.

The Jockey Club has been in discussion with council planning officers for more than two years over the application which it had originally hoped to submit for planning permission at the beginning of 2017.

And at that time it had the support of the Newmarket Trainers’ Federation whose then chairman, Mark Tompkins, said: “The lack of housing that is both suitable and within the means of racing staff is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges we face and it is excellent news that Jockey Club Estates is planning to develop housing on their land specifically for the industry’s employees.”