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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

No. Item

17/5/PlanPre App



Councillor Peter Sarris declared an interest as an employee of Cambridge University.  Accordingly, he did not attend the briefing.


17/6/PlanPre App

Declaration of Interest

17/7/PlanPre App

Pre-Application Briefing by the Developer - Cavendish Laboratory, JJ Thomson Avenue, West Cambridge Site, Cambridge

1.0     Cavendish III Proposal

1.1     The pre application proposal is for the complete relocation of the Cavendish II laboratory from its existing site in the south east corner of the West Cambridge campus. The proposed building will have four levels of accommodation providing 38,600 sq m of footprint.  It is proposed to be formed of two phases.  Phase two will be located in the north east corner of the plot. 

1.2     The proposed application site is situated on the west side of JJ Thomson Avenue and at the junction with Madingley Road, on land currently used as paddocks for the Veterinary School and Merton Hall Farmhouse.  It falls within ‘the Green’ and ‘Central Green Link’ key places within the Design Guide which accompanies the West Cambridge outline application.

1.3     Because of timescales involved with the outline (16/1134/OUT) the proposal will come forward as a separate full planning application. It will be assessed on its own merits, as well as the emerging outline application, parameter plans, Design Guide and other associated strategies.


Shared Facilities Hub and JJ Thomson Gardens


1.4     A proposed shared facilities building will provide catering, library and other supporting amenities to serve the West Cambridge Site. It will be situated to the south of the proposed Cavendish III and will be adjacent to the existing North Residences. The Shared Facilities Hub will be accommodated within a rectangular shaped plot and will have 3-4 levels of accommodation.

1.5     Between the proposed Cavendish III and Shared Facilities Hub is a proposed 2.4 ha area of landscaped public realm.  ‘JJ Thomson Gardens’ will be a predominantly soft landscape and recreational open space which will accommodate an east - west cycle and pedestrian path.  JJ Thomson Gardens will be part of a larger open space (The Green), which will be delivered in three phases progressing east to west, involving the relocation of the Veterinary School.


2.0     Background and Policy Context

2.1     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. 


2.2     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.  There is a general lack of activity on site and external spaces tend to be car dominated.  The site suffers from a lack of facilities, although the sports centre has helped start to readdress this issue over the last 18 months.


2.3     The densification of West Cambridge 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.    This will be assessed through the revised masterplan.


3.0     Key Issues

3.1     The key issues are:

-        Compliance with the emerging and yet to be  ...  view the full agenda text for item 17/7/PlanPre App


Member Briefing - Summary Note

West Cambridge Masterplan Review – 16/1134/OUT

Thursday 6 September 2017

Council Chamber, Guildhall

1.0       Apologies


-      Councillor Peter Sarris declared an interest as an employee of Cambridge University.  Accordingly, he did not attend the briefing.


2.0       Declarations of Interest


-      Councillor Peter Sarris (See above).


3.0       Key Points from Developer Presentation


Cavendish 3 project


-      Scheme development - has taken place over 18 months.

-      Constraints and opportunities – vibration and scientific equipment have informed the design and layout.

-      Deliveries will be located in the North West corner.

-      Vibration sensitivity – has driven the layout of the building.

-      Layout – includes a public wing, 3 courtyards and an internal street.

-      Internal circulation – has been carefully considered to promote interaction.

-      Dramatic double height entrance – will be provided in the public wing, with access to the lecture theatres and circulation space.

-      Timeless Design – calm, grounded architecture characterises the external appearance of the building.  Use of reconstituted stone will help to achieve this.

-      Solar gain – has been carefully considered in the design proposals.

-      Central Green Link – characterised by the distinctive, projecting service wings.

-      North East Corner – will be constructed as part of a phase 2 development.  The interim condition will be carefully designed.

JJ Thomson Gardens

-      Flexible design – is intended to integrate with the future strategy.

-      New east/west cycle route will be provided.

-      Productive garden – is incorporated into the proposals.

-      Vehicle speeds, JJ Thomson Avenue will be reduced through interventions in the street design.

Shared Facilities Hub (SFH)

-      Landmark building – the Shared Facilities Hub will be a landmark building for the campus, key to its social infrastructure.

-      Entrances – respond to the site context and plaza areas.

-      Planting – will be integrated into the atrium spaces of the building.

-      External elevations – will be more ‘playful’ than the proposed Cavendish 3 building and will be as open and permeable as possible.

-      Ground source heat pumps will be shared with the Cavendish 3 project.

4.0    Member questions/comments

          How do these reserved matters applications relate to the undetermined outline application?  How can they be assessed in isolation from the masterplan which is still outstanding? 


4.1    Government funding has been secured for delivery of the new Cavendish Laboratory, which is a scheme of national importance.  As such the proposal will be assessed on its own merits as a separate full planning application.  This is necessary because of the timescales involved with post submission negotiations on the outline planning application (16/1134/OUT).  This approach was adopted for submission of the Civil Engineering Building (16/1811/FUL) which was approved by Committee in March 2017.


4.2    The outline planning application was submitted in June 2016 and officers are concluding a series of post submission negotiations relating to building heights, transport, green infrastructure, quality of place and other site wide strategies.  A comprehensive resubmission is expected mid-September.  Full consultation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17/7/PlanPre App