West Suffolk Local Plan (Regulation 18) Issues and Options October 2020

Comment ID 678
Document Section Part 3 - settlements Towns Newmarket Newmarket View all on this section
Respondent Ms Rachel Hood View all by this respondent
Response Date 20 Dec 2020
Summary
Additional comments. 2.5.2 Newmarket serves the health, education, retail and leisure needs of the local catchment area, which includes settlements in both West Suffolk and East Cambridgeshire. It is of vital importance, to understand not only the needs of the residents of the three West Suffolk wards at the heart of the town, but also the needs of the residents of the town who live in East Cambridgeshire, the residents of the Suffolk villages to the north and east
Comment

2.5.1 Newmarket is an important, unique and historic market town. It is famous nationally and internationally for its ties with the horse racing Industry, and these have created a unique landscape setting for the town.

It should be noted that the following services have been lost to the town:

  • A general hospital, including a maternity ward
  • A&E Services
  • Out-of-hours GP services
  • Mental health services
  • Support services for residents with disabilities
  • A police station with public access
  • Courthouse
  • Post-16 education
  • Railway station building
  • Free recycling center
  • Cinema

2.5.2 Newmarket serves the health, education, retail and leisure needs of the local catchment area, which includes settlements in both West Suffolk and East Cambridgeshire. It is of vital importance, to understand not only the needs of the residents of the three West Suffolk wards at the heart of the town, but also the needs of the residents of the town who live in East Cambridgeshire, the residents of the Suffolk villages to the north and east, and the residents of the surrounding East Cambridgeshire villages. Planning to ensure that the town has the required level of infrastructure and services will continue to be particularly complex.

Over a number of decades, a significant number of services (police headquarters, local government offices, waste recycling centre, post-16 education and GP out-of-hours services) have been withdrawn and centralised elsewhere.  For the town to be sustainable, these services would have to be reinstated and extended, together with improvement in overall infrastructure.

2.5.6 There is no doubt that growth in these surrounding settlements will have a dramatic effect on Newmarket’s already stretched infrastructure.

There is already coalescence with the settlement of Exning, further activity of this kind should be avoided.

A significant problem occurs when road closures cause traffic from the A11/A14 to be diverted through Newmarket, effectively bringing the Town to a standstill on a regular basis

2.5.7 The leisure and cultural offer of the Town should be identified as a key area of need to be addressed, with particular focus on providing a shared community sports and recreation area, a cinema, a museum of local history and facilitating participation in the Arts

Attachments
Council Comments

Your comments are welcomed and have been noted. All responses will be carefully considered and will assist in the production of the next draft of the plan, the Preferred Options draft, which will be consulted on in early 2022.