Page last updated at 18:47 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Newmarket horse racing threatened by housing, MP says


Richard Spring criticised the Hatchfield Farm scheme in Westminster Hall: From BBC Democracy Live

Newmarket's famous horseracing industry could be ruined if a development gets the go-ahead, a Suffolk MP has claimed.

Racehorse owner Lord Derby wants to build about 1,200 houses, a hotel, park and ride and a retail park on the 160-acre Hatchfield Farm site.

West Suffolk MP Richard Spring told fellow MPs the development would drive away the horse-racing industry.

In a statement Lord Derby said it is the only land "capable of fulfilling Newmarket's proposed urban extension".

There has been heavy opposition from the community with protests and more than 700 signatures gathered on a petition.

The proposal is for 1,200 houses and a new business facilities

Racehorse trainers have said the extra traffic will make it unsafe for the 3,000 horses that cross Newmarket's roads each day.

Lord Derby said: "The planning application that has now been submitted was formulated following extensive consultation with a number of public bodies, as well as feedback given by Newmarket's residents.

"Their concerns, particularly with regards to traffic and the racing industry, were treated with the greatest seriousness and have been addressed in the submitted application."

The plans have been submitted to Forest Heath District Council, and a public consultation has started.

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