Long term plan sets out future proposals for Newmarket
PUBLISHED: 11:52 19 February 2020
Improvements to road and rail links and boosting tourism are among proposals in a new neighbourhood plan for Newmarket.
The plan has been drawn up by West Suffolk Council after a public consultation last year and is being recommended for adoption when the full council meets on February 25.
Neighbourhood plans are a way of local communities influencing the planning, regeneration and conservation of the area in which they live.
-Promoting and maintaining the character and prosperity of the town
-Improving and promoting well-being for residents
-Valuing and protecting the environment
-Developing sustainable housing
-Developing a sustainable transport network
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-Creating an attractive and vibrant town centre to enhance Newmarket as a major tourist destination
Newmarket, dubbed the home of British horseracing, has been a centre for the sport since the 18th century.
There are 3,000 racehorses in training, two racecourses, the largest bloodstock auction house in Europe, as well as 85 registered trainers, 63 stud farms, and around 2,500 acres of training grounds, plus National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art,
Horse crossing points within the town and the gallops on its outskirts are key features and the plan said this heritage was a key opportunity for the town to be a major tourist attraction.
However it said better transport links were needed: "Newmarket Railway Station has no station building apart from its two shelters, and is only a 'stop' on the line.
"Even after recent enhancements, the station's lack of infrastructure makes for a "particularly uninspiring experience on arrival and departure," and its signage and connections to the town centre would benefit from further improvement."
The plan said there was increasing demand for a better rail service to serve residents and visitors, and the station has "significant potential".
"With improvements to its public realm and wayfinding information, the station could become an attractive gateway to the town and an asset to its tourism offer."
The plan also calls for continued lobbying for improvements to junction 37 of the A14: "The junction of the A142 (Fordham Road) and A14 at Junction 37 causes queues on the A14 and difficulties in turning right on the approach to the junction from both east and west off the A14.
"This is of great concern to local residents, organisations and councils as well as Highways England, and it is accepted that improvement of this junction is needed urgently."