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West Cambridge


Existing development on the West Cambridge site is on the result of incremental development since the 1970s and the implementation of the West Cambridge Masterplan, which was prepared in the mid-late 1990s. The outline planning application was granted in 1999 (application ref. C/97/0961/OP) by Cambridge City Council and a review was approved in 2004. Together with the pre-existing development on the site (approx. 72,152m2), the 1999 masterplan envisaged just under 250,000m2 of development on the 66 ha site.

The academic components of the 1999 masterplan have been delivered to the levels anticipated, as have the residential elements.  However, the delivery of commercial research and shared facilities on the site is well below the levels envisaged in the 1999 planning permission and 2004 review.

Policy 18 of the Cambridge Local Plan 2014: Proposed Submission (July 2013) identifies West Cambridge as an Area of Major Change and acknowledges that further development can occur in line with the existing planning permission. The draft policy also supports a greater intensity of development on the site resulting in a significant increase in floorspace over that already approved through planning permission ref. C/97/0961/OP, providing that a revised site-wide masterplan has been proposed that takes an integrated and comprehensive approach to the provision and distribution of uses, and supporting facilities and amenities. Policy also states that the form, density and height of development, as well as phasing, would need to be determined through the masterplan, and that proposals respect the important adjacent Green Belt setting as well as other neighbouring residential uses. A comprehensive transport strategy for the site, incorporating a sustainable transport plan, as well proposals for appropriate green infrastructure also need to be included in the site-wide masterplan.

The University proposes a new masterplan that sets out a long term vision and strategy for the comprehensive development of the whole West Cambridge site. The masterplan will introduce new faculty and research and development buildings on the site, as well as accommodation for related commercial research and development organisations. It will also integrate proposals to improve sustainable transport, shared facilities, social amenity space and catering, interim uses and open spaces.  This will enhance the character and reputation of West Cambridge, and upgrade the energy, surface water drainage and other infrastructure requirements within a sustainable site-wide framework.