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Newmarket could become 'Cambridge suburb' warns former mayor

Newmarket mayor 2016/17 Andy Drummond. (4459267)
Newmarket mayor 2016/17 Andy Drummond. (4459267)

A former Newmarket mayor has warned that development plans which could see Cambridge become the size of Greater Manchester by 2030, would see the town become a suburb of the city.

Cllr Andy Drummond has now called on James Palmer, the mayor of the combined authority of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, to meet with Newmarket Town Council to agree a ‘memorandum of understanding to protect Newmarket for the next decade and beyond’.

Speaking at a meeting of the town council on Monday, Cllr Drummond said: “I am aware that Cambridge already looks to Forest Heath to supply housing stock for commuters.

“I am also aware that memorandum of understanding agreements exist between the higher level authorities but these do not necessarily protect the best interests of Newmarket and we are not privy to their content.”

He told councillors: “We are all fully aware of East Cambridgeshire developments such as the proposed 500 homes in Kennett which will impact on Newmarket, so we do need to be proactive rather than reactive and become part of the place-shaping debate."

Pointing to a report detailing the key ambitions ofthe combined authority, Cllr Drummond said: “It is clear that should Cambridge be successful in its growth plans and become the size of Manchester over the next decade, Newmarket will be subsumed into it as part of the process of urban sprawl, put simply we will become a suburb of Cambridge.

“As we all know, Newmarket is the international home of horseracing so it’s important that we take steps to protect its status before it becomes absorbed into suburbia.”

He added: “My proposal is that we engage with mayor Palmer to make him know that we are here.”