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Council urged to control use of short stay rental properties after stabbing in Newmarket

A council is being urged to act to control the use of short stay rental properties in Newmarket after a teenager was stabbed twice in the back at a house in the town.

The 19-year-old is still in hospital following the attack at Mill House, in Mill Hill, which is rented out through a number of online platforms including Airbnb and Booking.com

Police were called to the Victorian terraced house in the early hours of Friday to reports that a man had been stabbed in the basement.

Police officers outside Mill House in Newmarket where a teenager was stabbed on Friday
Police officers outside Mill House in Newmarket where a teenager was stabbed on Friday

A neighbour, who had earlier complained about the noise being caused by the group who had rented the house, was also assaulted sustaining injuries to his face as the result of a punch.

It was not the first time police have been called to the property.

Last year, the property’s owner, who does not live in Newmarket, was assaulted by one of a group of underage youngsters who had gained illegal access to the premises after getting the code 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 and district councillor James Lay said: “Newmarket members of West Suffolk Council have brought this to the authority’s attention.

“We need to set up a licensed approach to Airbnb. Newmarket has 15 sites operating without control and we need to be active in the control in the same way other local authorities have acted both here and across the world.”

At Monday’s meeting of Newmarket Town Council’s development and planning committee, members were told that neighbours of the Mill Hill property had had to endure years of noise and disturbance.

And they were given examples of similar issues in other parts of the country including in Cambridge where the city council had taken enforcement action against the owner of a similarly rented property following complaints about the noise and disruption created by those staying there.

The action was later upheld by a planning inspector.

Councillors Rachel Hood and Andy Drummond, who have raised the issue a number of times with the district council, said they would make further representation.

A Mill Hill resident who did not wish to be named said: “Those wishing to rent out their house, as this one is, should have to take some responsibility for the impact the behaviour of some of their guests has on neighbours but they don’t care about the the disturbance caused because they don’t live there and currently West Suffolk Council seems reluctant to do anything about it.”

Three people have been arrested by police in connection with Friday’s incident two 17-year-olds, and a 20-year-old, all from Bury St Edmunds.

A knife was also recovered by detectives at the scene which was cordoned off by officers until Friday evening.

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