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Newmarket: Horsemen’s Group welcomes decision that approved supermarket application will not be called in

PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 October 2013

William Gittus

William Gittus

Archant

A horse racing group has welcomed the Government’s decision that two approved planning applications for supermarkets in Newmarket will not be called in.

In May Forest Heath District Council’s development control committee granted permission for a Morrisons in Exning Road and a replacement Tesco store at its current location in Fordham Road and refused consent for a Sainsbury’s on George Lambton Playing Fields and Unex Group’s application for a potential Asda on land backing on to Rowley Drive.

The unsuccessful applicants – Unex Group and Sainsbury’s – lodged appeals, but Sainsbury’s has since withdrawn its appeal.

The Government’s National Planning Casework Unit (NPCU) has announced that it will not be calling in the two approved applications and Forest Heath District Council is free to issue consent for Morrisons and Tesco, once Section 106 obligations have been completed.

The Newmarket Horsemen’s Group had said the Morrisons and Tesco applications were the least likely of the four proposals to negatively impact on the town’s racing industry.

William Gittus, chairman of the group, which represents the town’s horse racing industry, said: “The decision by the NPCU not to call in this matter is most welcome and is an endorsement of the district council’s process in relation to this unique and complex set of applications.”

David Bowman, Forest Heath cabinet member for economic development, said: “We want people to come and shop in Newmarket, and take the time to enjoy other facilities as well instead of travelling elsewhere, and I’m sure this decision will help to boost the local economy.”

Mr Gittus added: “It is good news that Sainsbury’s has withdrawn its appeal –appeals are expensive and time-consuming for all concerned. We must wait to see what Unex decide to do in relation to their Queensbury Lodge Stables site, but we hope very much that they will also withdraw their appeal and take up our existing offer to get together and work something out.”

The Planning Inspectorate gave the parties involved in the appeals process two weeks to agree a bespoke timetable for a public inquiry.

Sainsbury’s and the Unex Group were unavailable for comment.

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