High Court rules in favour of Lord Derby’s plans for 400 homes at Hatchfield Farm
PUBLISHED: 09:49 10 May 2017
A key victory has been won in Lord Derby’s long-running battle to build 400 homes on Hatchfield Farm in Newmarket.
The landowner has been battling against the racing industry for at least eight years over the application, who believe that the proposal could have an adverse effect on the area.
Today, a planning judge ruled that Community and Local Goverment Secretary Sajid Javid last year made a legally flawed decision when he refused to accept Forest Heath District Council’s approval of the plans.
The ruling means the case will now have to be reconsidered.
Mr Justice Gilbert, sitting in London, quashed the refusal, saying: “The secretary of state has performed a complete and unexplained volte face in his assessment of the highways impacts of two proposals for development on the same site in Newmarket and has also failed to apply his own National Planning Policy Framework.
“There is on any view a requirement for more land for housing and other economic development in the Forest Heath District.”
Lord Derby brought the legal challenge with Moulton Parish Council and the Rural Parishes Alliance.
The judge said local parish councils had argued that growth in the area should not be dispersed among the rural parishes but concentrated in Newmarket.
Newmarket Horsemen’s Group and some others were concerned that development in the town “may have an adverse effect on the horseracing industry that is based there”.
A spokesman for Lord Derby said: “The Rural Parishes Alliance and Lord Derby are pleased with the decision. The fact the judge ruled in our favour on two of the four grounds is a powerful endorsement of our view the secretary of state’s decision-making process was flawed.
“The secretary of state now has a second chance to determine the application. He should take full account of the significant benefits the planning application will bring to Newmarket when making a decision.
“Not only does the application propose 400 new homes, including 30% affordable housing, it will also deliver £6.9million worth of investment into Newmarket’s social and economic infrastructure.”
Calling for a fresh decision to be made quickly, he said: “The secretary of state now has the opportunity to rectify his previous error and grant planning permission.
“He needs to correctly apply his own policy to the Hatchfield Farm case and make a decision that takes a full account of the significant benefits this application will bring to Newmarket.”