Bracher Rawlins acts for the Newmarket Horsemen’s Group as they successfully secure the rejection of planning permission to build 400 houses in Newmarket
In 2014, Lord Derby was granted outline planning permission to build 400 homes at Hatchfield Farm in Newmarket. This followed five years of local opposition to the scheme, much of it led by Bracher Rawlins’ client, the Newmarket Horsemen’s Group. The group represents the interest of racehorse owners, trainers, jockeys, stable staff and breeders and their objection was on the grounds that the development would damage the local horse racing industry.
Following representations by the group, the planning permission granted in 2014 was called in by the then minister for Department for Communities & Local Government, Eric Pickles, who established a public local inquiry to consider the issues.
The public inquiry was held in 2015 and, having considered his Inspector’s report, the current DCLG minister, Sajid Javid, issued his decision at the end of August 2016. In it he said:
“The Secretary of State considers that this [scheme] would threaten the long-term viability of the horse racing industry, and that the benefits of the scheme would not significantly outweigh the harm to the industry… In the light of the economic importance of the horse racing industry in Newmarket, the Secretary of State considers that the threat to its continuing success carries substantial weight against the proposal.”
William Gittus, Chairman of Newmarket Horsemen’s Group, said: “It is, of course, very good news that the Secretary of State has seen fit to refuse planning permission for 400 houses at Hatchfield Farm. However, we regret that we were forced into applying for the decision to be called in by the Secretary of State in the first place.
“It is very encouraging to note that in his reasons for refusal the Secretary of State gives significant weight to the risk that the proposed development posed to the current and longer term health of the town’s racing industry, and the local and national economic benefits which flow from it.”