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Lord Derby takes battle to high court over Newmarket estate

Lord Derby - off to the High Court
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Lord Derby goes to the High Court on Tuesday in his latest bid to secure approval of his long-running and controversial plans to build 400 homes on his Hatchfield Farm estate in Newmarket.

He is challenging government minister Sajiv Javid's decision last year to reject Forest Heath District Council's approval of the plans, which were first passed in 2014, at a hearing before Mr Justice Gilbart in the Queen's Bench division of the Planning Court.

Lord Derby, together with the Rural Parishes Alliance and Moulton Parish Council, have cited four grounds in a case against the secretary of state for communities and local government.

They claim Javid failed to apply his National Planning Policy Framework advice by considering whether the adverse impacts of the scheme outweighed the benefits; was inconsistent in finding the application unacceptable because of additional traffic at horse crossings when it had been acceptable in 2012, when the plan involved 1,200 homes; should not have ignored the planning inspector's conclusion on highways safety; and misinterpreted FHDC's policy on development which would threaten the racing industry.

Lord Derby said: "At the High Court hearing we will be applying for the secretary of state’s decision refusing planning permission to be quashed and subsequently re-determined.

"The inspector, who conducted a three-week public inquiry, reported to the secretary of state that planning permission should be granted, which was also the view of Forest Heath District Council.

"We remain of the view that Hatchfield Farm is a sustainable and logical place for new homes, which would be welcomed by many in the Newmarket community who are in need of housing.”

FHDC have not joined Derby but are interested parties in the latest stage of a saga which opponents, headed by the Newmarket Horsemen's Group, had thought was at an end when Javid intervened last September.

The hearing is expected to last two to three days, though a decision may be given at a later date. If the challenge is successful the matter would return to the secretary of state.

We remain of the view that Hatchfield Farm is a sustainable and logical place for new homes

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