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Newmarket's former St Felix Middle School site could see house building start in 2022




House building on the former St Felix Middle School site in Newmarket could begin as early as next year.

The home of the much-loved school in Fordham Road has stood empty for almost a decade after it and the town’s other middle school, Scaltback, closed in the summer of 2012 as part of a re-organisation of education in Suffolk.

Since then, the future use of both county council-owned sites has been the subject of much local speculation.

The former St Felix Middle School site in Fordham Road, Newmarket, where building work could start next year. Picture by Mark Westley.
The former St Felix Middle School site in Fordham Road, Newmarket, where building work could start next year. Picture by Mark Westley.

This week, the town’s two county councillors, Andy Drummond, and Rachel Hood, announced they had been working together with officers at West Suffolk District Council to come up with a design proposal for the site, which is allocated for development in the district’s local plan.

“Once all the parts in this long-running matter have been concluded, a mixed-use housing development, currently in the design stage, with the scope for the inclusion of a Sport England-approved community-use sports facilities for the town, are expected to come forward for consultation,” said Cllr Drummond.

And in a joint statement, the councillors said: “We are thrilled, that at long last, our many years’ work to bring this site back into both appropriate housing and recreational sports use will be coming to fruition.

The former St Felix Middle School site in Fordham Road, Newmarket, where building work could start next year. Picture by Mark Westley.
The former St Felix Middle School site in Fordham Road, Newmarket, where building work could start next year. Picture by Mark Westley.

“We would like to thank the officers of West Suffolk District Council and Suffolk County Council, who have been so enthusiastic about working together to achieve what is best for our residents in Newmarket.

“This absolutely demonstrates what can be achieved when professionally qualified, experienced, and business-like councillors engage with our council officers to solve problems and make the right things happen for our residents”.

According to Cllr Drummond there is likely to be a public consultation later this year, after which a proposal for the development of the St Felix site, including an associated sport and recreational project, is expected to be submitted to the district planning authority for consideration at the end of this year.

From the Newmarket Journal archive: Pupils sign the school sign and leave ties and jumpers after the last day at St Felix Middle School in July 2012.
From the Newmarket Journal archive: Pupils sign the school sign and leave ties and jumpers after the last day at St Felix Middle School in July 2012.

And if planning permission is granted, then building work could start in 2022.

In January last year Suffolk County Council said it wanted the site to be used for up to 50 houses built in the same area as the school’s original footprint with the rest of the site used as green open space.

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