Tattersalls, the Newmarket-based firm of bloodstock auctioneers responsible for commissioning and funding an environmental appraisal to look at the potential effect of a development of 1,200 new houses in the town, has issued the following press release. Its sentiments are wholeheartedly shared by Save Historic Newmarket and the appraisal, undertaken for Tattersalls by independent planning advisers Barton Willmore, which has been sent to all local councillors and council planning officers, has the backing of Jockey Club Estates, Newmarket Trainers' Federation, Newmarket Racecourses, Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, Newmarket Stud Farmers' Association, Federation of Bloodstock Agents, Save Historic Newmarket and a significant number of residents in the town.
At a meeting of Forest Heath District Council (FHDC) on Thursday 30th July, the Council approved the Core Strategy of the Local Development Framework (LDF) by 13 votes to 6 with 2 abstentions. Contained within the LDF is the proposal to build 1,400 new houses in Newmarket, 1,200 of which have been earmarked for the Lord Derby owned Hatchfield Farm site on the Fordham Road in Newmarket.
The LDF has been approved despite a report compiled by Planning Consultants Barton Willmore stating the LDF Core Strategy as proposed by FHDC is "not founded on a robust and credible evidence base and the most appropriate strategy has not been put forward". The report, commissioned by Newmarket based bloodstock auctioneers Tattersalls, in conjunction with 12 trade association bodies representing all sectors of the racing and bloodstock industries, was made available to FHDC. In addition the racing and bloodstock industries have made repeated appeals to FHDC to reconsider their policy on development of Lord Derby's Hatchfield Farm site. These appeals have been substantially ignored.
Significantly Newmarket Town Council voted against the LDF in April 2009 and passed a resolution stating the FHDC Core Strategy was unsound. Once again FHDC chose to disregard this representation.
FHDC will submit the LDF as approved last week to the Secretary of State by 28th August following which the appointed Planning Inspector will arrange an 'Examination in Public' (EIP) in either December 2009 or January 2010. The racing and breeding industry bodies which have already registered their grave misgivings will be making full representations in an attempt to prevent FHDC from riding roughshod over the wishes and needs of this unique town.
Commenting on the conduct of FHDC, Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony said;
"I, alongside so many people who live or work in the town of Newmarket, am deeply saddened and disturbed by the recent actions of FHDC. In pushing through the LDF, FHDC has consistently disregarded the concerns expressed by sectors of the community in Newmarket and specifically those of the racing and breeding industries.
The industries have commissioned independent reports, engaged in correspondence and attempted to engage in dialogue with FHDC and have been rebuffed or ignored at all stages of this depressing process. For FHDC to pretend otherwise would be disingenuous. Given the Conservative Party's historical support for racing it is particularly concerning that the policies in the LDF have been voted through by a Conservative majority vote on FHDC. Thankfully there was opposition to these proposals offered by the Independent and Liberal Democrat Councillors. To see a former mayor of Newmarket, Robin Millar (Conservative), (as Chairman of the Working Group to oversee the LDF in conjunction with FHDC Planning Department) promoting the imposition of 1,400 new houses on a town of 16,000 people which has thousands of thoroughbred horses daily crossing all of the main roads in town, has been truly alarming.
Like many others I am greatly concerned for the future of the town of Newmarket and the future of the racing and breeding industries within it. Without exception all of the bodies representing the component parts of the racing and breeding industries have made their concerns known, but the same Council that has allowed unsustainable development in Red Lodge - already highlighted in the national press as a scandal - is now set on a course which could destroy a town regarded globally as a centre of excellence.
To have FHDC's policy for the future imposed on us without full consideration of its impact is neither democratic nor acceptable, and we will continue the struggle to preserve Newmarket's unique status at the formal 'Examination in Public' which looks set to take place at the beginning of next year."
The first of what we hope will be an annual Save Historic Newmarket quiz night was a roaring success with more than 130 people in 22 teams filling the buffet room at Tattersalls for the ten-round challenge.
Lorna Bradburne and Nick Luck, star presenters of Racing UK, were superb question masters, just about managing to maintain order in the free-for-all captains' rounds and providing great entertainment for all.
Highlight of the evening for many was witnessing the removal of John Berry's trademark beard. The Beverley House Stables trainer has not been clean-shaven for 20 years but such were the generous donations on the night that Berry was forced to allow Angie Winter of Juddmonte at him with the clippers.
Berry's team Rabbit Row, which included fellow Newmarket trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam, Richard Ward, Sara Beckett, Hugh Fraser and Larry Stratton, made all to win the quiz by a short head from the Environmentally Friendlies, representing Pegasus and Phantom House Stables, with Jason Singh's Tattersalls team in third.
A huge thank you to all those of you who turned out to support the evening, particularly to the team from the Racing Post, Racenews and the Tote, which travelled from London for the occasion. Special thanks must also go to Tattersalls for allowing us to hold the quiz at Park Paddocks, particularly to Tess Youngs, who helped so much with the organisation, and to Mick Fitzgerald, Laura Thompson and Mertoun Paddocks, who were very kind in donating raffle prizes.
A total of £2964.39 was raised on the evening, all of which will go towards the fighting fund to help preserve Newmarket as the historic home of horseracing.
Save Historic Newmarket is holding a fund-raising quiz night on Thursday, 23 July. The racing-orientated quiz, entitled 'HQ&A', is being hosted by Tattersalls at Park Paddocks in The Avenue, Newmarket, and teams are set to come under orders at 7pm.
We have a few tables remaining for teams of up to six people, with several smaller tables for teams of four or five. Tickets are £15 per head and you are able to bring your own picnic.
We are very grateful to the Racing UK presenters Nick Luck and Lorna Bradburne, both of whom have given up their free time and consented to be question masters on the night, and of course to Tattersalls for being such generous hosts and supplying an excellent venue.
For further information or to book a table, please call Emma Berry on 07810 857181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the Save Historic Newmarket Action Group donned high visibility vests and armed themselves with litter pickers on May 30 as part of Newmarket's town clean-up campaign. Love Newmarket is the initiative headed by the town's mayor, Cllr Jane Bailey, herself a racehorse owner and breeder, with an aim of restoring town pride.
Save Historic Newmarket supporters joined approximately 35 other local residents, including town councillors and RAF cadets. The project is also being supported by Forest Heath District Council and Suffolk County Council.
The amount of litter in the High Street area and on the horse walks is an ongoing problem and efforts such as this are greatly welcomed by those who live and work in the town.