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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 & 2, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ. View directions

Contact: Toni Birkin  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

16/7/Plan

APOLOGIES

16/8/Plan

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

16/9/Plan

PRE-APPLICATION BRIEFING BY THE DEVELOPER - (UKCRIC, West Cambridge Campus, Madingley Road)

Approx: 10:00 am – 11:30 am

 

UKCRIC, West Cambridge Campus, Madingley Road

 

Existing West Cambridge site – general context

The West Cambridge Site is a major new academic development being undertaken by the University of Cambridge.  Development has begun in accordance with the approved planning permission in 1999. 

 

The West Cambridge Site has been slow to develop. Perceptions of the site include concerns over remoteness, isolation, lack of social life, high car dependency and lack of character.  Some elements of the public realm which have been provided, such as the western lake, are open and exposed as development is yet to complement it.  There is a general lack of activity on site. Car parking dominates the site and severs the public realm from buildings. The site suffers from a lack of facilities, although the sports centre has helped start to readdress this issue over the last 18 months.

 

The Council has identified an overall strategic need for further employment growth across the City in the emerging Local Plan, including making more efficient use of existing employment sites.  The densification of the West Cambridge site is acceptable in principle, subject to environmental, amenity and transport assessment as set out within emerging Local Plan Policy 18. The need for a ‘comprehensive development approach’ has been agreed through the ‘statement of common ground’ to mitigate the uplift in academic and commercial floor space that will be provided. 

 

The proposal

 

The pre application proposal is for the next phases of the relocation of the Department of Engineering from its existing site on Fen Causeway. The proposed building will have four levels of accommodation with a footprint of 4,500 sq m.  This is part of an overall strategy to provide 100,000 sq m of academic floor space on the east side of the revised West Cambridge masterplan.  The outline application 16/1134/OUT was submitted on 16 June 2016 and is currently under determination.

 

The proposed application site is situated on the eastern side of JJ Thomson Avenue to the rear of the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE).  It falls within ‘East Forum key place’, ‘East Green Link’ and ‘Clerk Maxwell Road site edge’ within the Design Guide which accompanies the West Cambridge outline application.

This proposal needs to be considered in context with the emerging outline application, parameter plans, Design Guide and other associated strategies.  The outline application itself is currently under review and may be subject to change.

 

Because of the timescales involved, UKCRIC is likely to be submitted as a separate full planning application.

 

The key issues are:

 

-  Compliance with the emerging parameter plans and Design Guide for the revised West Cambridge outline permission. 

 

-  Design and appearance of the building in context.

 

-  Massing and street scene.

 

-  Active frontages and shared facilities.

 

-  Landscape strategy.

 

-  Drainage approach.

 

-  Servicing and access.

 

-  Cycle parking strategy.

 

-  Inclusive access.

 

Minutes:

The proposal

 

The pre application proposal is for the next phases of the relocation of the Department of Engineering from its existing site on Fen Causeway. The proposed building will have four levels of accommodation with a footprint of 4,500 sq m.  This is part of an overall strategy to provide 100,000 sq m of academic floor space on the east side of the revised West Cambridge masterplan.  The outline application 16/1134/OUT was submitted on 16 June 2016 and is currently under determination.

 

The proposed application site is situated on the eastern side of JJ Thomson Avenue to the rear of the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE).  It falls within ‘East Forum key place’, ‘East Green Link’ and ‘Clerk Maxwell Road site edge’ within the Design Guide which accompanies the West Cambridge outline application.

 

This proposal needs to be considered in context with the emerging outline application, parameter plans, Design Guide and other associated strategies.  The outline application itself is currently under review and may be subject to change.

 

Because of the timescales involved, UKCRIC is likely to be submitted as a separate full planning application.

 

1)  Key Points from Developer Presentation

 

-  Relocation to West Cambridge – UKCRIC part of a wider relocation strategy.

-  Grant funding secured, subject to tight programme deadlines.

-  Separate full planning application will be required because of the longer timeframe which is required to negotiate the new outline application for West Cambridge.

-  Inset Masterplan – developed for Engineering to inform the wider West Cambridge Masterplan.

-  Adaptable building layout is intended for Engineering to meet current and future needs.

-  Modular expansion will be possible as and when funding becomes available.

-  Ecology Strategy will be submitted to maintain and enhance the landscaped bund to the east.

-  West elevation has been carefully considered and will have an equal level of detail and visual interest as the principal east elevation.

-  Main entrance - is positioned to enhance the existing garden to the CAPE building.

-  Social Spaces – existing campus lacks communal spaces to facilitate 21st century research.

-  Strong floor – is integral to the design to enable hydraulic testing to be carried out without disturbance to adjacent residential properties and academic buildings.

-  Acoustic ‘box within a box’ is integral to the design.

-  Cycle provision will be integrated into the design.

-  BREEAM excellent is targeted.

-  Energy reduction - is a key focus.

 

2)  Member Questions

 

1)  The existing Fen Causeway site appears to be a stable home for Engineering and the James Dyson building has only recently been constructed.  How does the strategy of relocation relate to this context?

 

-  The James Dyson building was necessary to relieve the immediate pressure for Engineering to carry out their research and activities.

 

-  Engineering has six divisions, two of which are already at West Cambridge.  Engineering is the largest department in the University.

 

-  The relocation to West Cambridge is part of a much wider  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16/9/Plan