West Suffolk Local Plan (Regulation 18) Preferred Options

Part Three: Site Allocations

2.5. Newmarket

2.5.1. Newmarket has a population of approximately 16,599 (2019 mid-year estimate) and is located south of the A14, some 18 kilometres west of Bury St Edmunds and 16 kilometres east of Cambridge. Newmarket is a market town hosting a twice weekly provisions market, with a range of convenience and comparison shops represented by both national and independent retailers. The town centre has a good range of services with a number of GP surgeries, sport, leisure and cultural facilities, police, ambulance and fire stations, and a hospital with outpatient services. The town is served with primary schools and a secondary school, as well as a number of established employment areas. Newmarket is a centre for the British Horse Racing Industry (HRI) which has an important economic and cultural role in the town. The industry is an important economic and cultural asset that will be protected and enhanced.

2.5.2. Newmarket neighbourhood development plan was ‘made’ (adopted) in February 2020 and is a statutory development plan document for West Suffolk Council. This means that the plan is a material consideration for planning application purposes.

Constraints and opportunities

  • The town is rich in archaeology and listed buildings with the historic core of the town and historic racing yards and stables designated as a conservation area. Devil’s Ditch, a scheduled ancient monument (SAM), is situated to the south-west of the racecourse.
  • Newmarket is the international home of horseracing and makes an important contribution to the economy, local heritage and character of the town. Local policies have aimed to protect and conserve its significance.
  • Settlement expansion is significantly constrained by the horse racing industry and its associated land uses as other policies within the local plan seek to safeguard the racing industry and its assets.
  • Any allocations for development will need to balance protection of the horse racing industry whilst meeting the housing and other needs for the town.
  • The town centre has a substantial comparison goods offer and a wide range of services.
  • The increased trend in working from home will help to strengthen the vitality and viability of local centres and businesses in the town.
  • There is an opportunity to build on the tourism opportunities created by the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art.
  • Land running north to south through the middle of the settlement lies within flood zones 1 and/or 2 according to data provided by the Environment Agency. The Newmarket Surface Water Management Plan has developed proposals for reducing flood risk in the town
  • Land to the east and south-west of the settlement is within the Newmarket Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
  • Development in surrounding settlements such as Kentford and Exning may impact on Newmarket’s infrastructure.
  • Coalescence with the settlement of Exning to the north-west should be avoided.
  • There is a need to carefully manage the movements of vehicles and horses within the town.
  • Newmarket benefits from good public transport infrastructure which includes a railway line that connects the town to Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge and beyond, and proximity to the A14 and A11.
  • The council is working with Suffolk County Council and other stakeholders to identify improvements in the delivery of rail and other transport networks.
  • There is an opportunity to improve the offer and vitality of Newmarket High Street including its market.
  • An established retail park and employment area lie to the north of the town.
  • The Yellow Brick Road is a locally named green corridor which follows the alignment of Newmarket Brook (formerly known as the No 1 Drain) through Newmarket from Studlands Park to central Newmarket providing pedestrian and cycle access and connecting open spaces.

Preferred allocations

2.5.3. One new strategic site is proposed as a preferred site for residential development in Newmarket providing an indicative capacity of 400 dwelling, alongside an existing strategic site and two non-strategic sites allocated in the current local plan.

2.5.4. The level of development proposed in Newmarket is influenced by the overall housing requirement and the settlement strategy. This determines the distribution of development across the district as well as the existing environmental and physical constraints and the overall capacity for development in the Further information on how housing numbers have been derived can be seen in part one of the local plan.

2.5.5. Further information on alternative site options considered but not taken forward can be seen in the table of omission sites in appendix B.

2.5.6. New and existing preferred strategic employment and mixed use sites, as well as an existing established employment area have been identified for Newmarket. Further details can be seen in chapter 7 employment. Each site is identified on the policies map.

2.5.7. Information on infrastructure can be seen in the draft infrastructure delivery plan (IDP) (2022) which sets out baseline data for each settlement.

Newmarket settlement constraints map
Newmarket settlement constraints map
Newmarket preferred allocations map north
 Newmarket North
Newmarket preferred allocations map south
 Newmarket South