Home   Newmarket   News   Article

Subscribe Now

St Felix school site in Newmarket – last chance to have your say on its future

A Newmarket councillor has urged residents to have their say on the future of a former town middle school site before it is too late.

Suffolk County Council wants build 50 houses on roughly half of the former St Felix Middle School site but Newmarket Town Council has pledged to fight the proposal so the land can be kept for recreational and sports use.

Cllr Sue Perry, a member of West Suffolk District Council, and Newmarket Town Council, said: “We are not telling people to object but we do want them to have a say and highlight that this is a very important site and the loss of such an amenity affects the whole town.

“Very few people responded to the consultation last time and the deadline for responses to the current plan, which is now being considered by West Suffolk District Council, has now been extended to November 14.”

The controversial plan, which would see the loss of a large proportion of what is one of the town’s last remaining sites which could be used as public recreational space, has also been opposed by the Newmarket Community Network, which has presented it own report as part of West Suffolk Council’s planning consultation.

“We believe the St Felix site should remain as a community asset and become home to sports and recreation in Newmarket,” it said.

The former St Felix school site in Newmarket
The former St Felix school site in Newmarket

Sport England has also objected to the proposed housing development which it said was contrary to its own playing fields policy and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which said existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land, including playing fields, should not be built on unless surplus to requirements, or were being replaced by equivalent or better provision.

Dr Rachel Wood, who helped formulate Newmarket’s Neighbourhood Plan, now a recognised planning document, said she believed the county was not truly interested in the provision of sporting facilities in Newmarket.

“I see no consultation as to the sporting needs of Newmarket in the application the idea seems to be to get the housing built as quickly as possible,” she said.

Any residents wishing to comment on the application, the reference number for which is DC/23/0864/FUL, can do so by logging on the West Suffolk Council planning portal.