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Agenda item

1000 Discovery Drive, Cambridge Biomedical Campus


The Committee received a reserved matters application for the erection of a five-storey mixed use laboratory and office building and associated plant, internal roads, car parking, cycle parking, landscaping and public open space, including access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale.


The Committee noted the Amendment Sheet as listed below which could also be viewed at the following link: https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/mgChooseDocPack.aspx?ID=3941


1.   The application address does not actually include the wording “1000 Discovery Drive”, so the officer report is amended accordingly. The address should, therefore, read, “Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Dame Mary Archer Way, Cambridge.”


2.   There is an up-date regarding the Phasing Plan, referred to in the officer report in paragraph 44 (page 10). The contents of the Phasing Plan, as mentioned in the officer report, have now been agreed and the relevant condition of the outline planning permission (Condition 6) has now been part discharged. 


3. There are slight changes to wording of the recommended Condition 5. These are:


Point 2, after “Prior to occupation”, insert “of the building”. After point 4, in the final sentence, change the word “programme” for “scheme”.


Condition 5 should, therefore, read as follows:


“Prior to the installation of any electrical services, an electric vehicle charge point scheme demonstrating the provision of allocated car parking spaces with dedicated electric vehicle charging, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall include:


1.  Five active fast electric vehicle charge points with a minimum power rating output of 22kW to be installed prior to occupation


2. Prior to occupation of the building, provision shall be made for 23 passive electric vehicle spaces to have the necessary infrastructure and capacity in the connection to the local electricity distribution network and electricity distribution board, in order to facilitate and enable the future installation and activation of additional active slow electric vehicle charge points as required.


3. The electric vehicle charge points shall be designed and installed in accordance with BS EN 61851 or as superseded 


4. In the event that either no construction work on Plot 3 (of Phase 2 of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus) or construction of the Multi-Storey Car Park has commenced within five years of the date of this decision notice, an additional 31 active slow electric vehicle charge points with a minimum power rating output of 7kW shall be provided. The additional 31 active slow electric vehicle charge points shall be provided within 6 months after the expiry of the five years from the date of this decision.


The electric vehicle charge point scheme as approved shall be fully installed in accordance with the approved scheme and maintained and retained thereafter.


Reason:  In the interests of encouraging more sustainable modes and forms of transport and to reduce the impact of development on local air quality, in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) paragraph 105, 110, 170 and 181, Policy 36 - Air Quality, Odour and Dust of the Cambridge Local Plan (2018) and with Cambridge City Council’s adopted Air Quality Action Plan (2018).”


Andrew Blevins of Liberty Property Trust (Applicant) addressed the Committee in support of the application.


In response to Members’ questions the Principal Planning Officer said the following:

  i.  In answer to the representation made by residents of Warburton House:

·  The property was approximately 280m away from the site; believed the concerns raised regarding overshadowing were unjustified due to the distance.

·  Outlined planning permission parameter plans had been set with regards to the height of the building. The building would fall within those parameters.

  ii.  Regarding the concern expressed to the open space to the north of the building rather than to the south.  This was part of the staggered arrangement agreed with the outline planning permission.

  iii.  The forecourts of the property were large enough for sufficient sunlight and daylight.

  iv.  The application proposed a temporary carpark on plot 3. There was a trigger point within the outline planning permission when the multi-storey would be built to coincide with plot 3 being developed.

  v.  Condition 14 under the outline planning permission required 3% of spaces for EV charging points at construction with a provision for a further 15% within the infrastructure. 

  vi.  Amended condition 5 (5.4) included an additional 31 active slow electric vehicle charge points if the temporary cark park was still on site in five years’ time.

 vii.  The Environment Agency had expressed concern at ground contamination and what might enter the water environment below ground. Their standard informative requested no open drainage to prevent pollution underground.

viii.  The reason for the location of the refuse bay (north forecourt) was due to availably of space; it could not be relocated from the front as there was not enough room to the east of the building. This would be hidden in a small pavilion building with a green roof and climbing plants around it.

  ix.  Regarding overheating of the building and the materials used, the south elevation of the building had less glass and more brick than the north which was a deliberate design to avoid overheating by sunlight.

  x.  The proposed building was higher than the Abcam building but comparable with other buildings in the area, some of which were higher.

  xi.  The overall layout of the site had been agreed under the outline planning permission with the plots divided and staggered north to south to allow large landscaped areas. The application had a large landscaped area to the north of the building.

 xii.  Noted the concern expressed regarding the access road going in front of the building.

xiii.  The access road had to go across the north as to gain vehicle access to the site without having to reverse back out on Discovery Drive the only practical option was to loop through the site in front of the building. The Quality Design Panel did look at the possibility of drop off spaces being provided on Discovery Drive but this was not conducive to good landscape design.

xiv.  Environmental Health officers had made no adverse comments regarding the 22kw EV charging points.

xv.  On the roof of the proposed building there would be a whole section of plant specifically for cooling the building. In addition, the stairwells on the east and west side had the space for additional plant for cooling if required.

xvi.  Confirmed there was a parameter plan that dealt with the flue height of the cooling plant, the scheme was within that parameter.

xvii.  The quantity of parking spaces would be controlled by condition 33 of the outline planning permission of 1 parking space per 80sqm.

xviii.  The estimation for the number of staff on site was 562 with 80% of staff occupying the building at any one time.

xix.  As part of the outline planning permission a site wide travel plan was required and a plot specific travel plan to promote modes of transport other than the private car.

xx.  Two bus stops had been installed by the applicant on Dame Mary Archer Way. Two new cycle and pedestrian crossings had been installed, one on the roundabout on Addenbrookes Road and Francis Crick Avenue, the other on Dame Mary Archer Way on the former Bell School site.

xxi.  Noted the comment regarding the high level of car parking for phase 2.

xxii.  Had been advised that the electric bike batteries could be taken off and brought into the office to charge.

xxiii.  The louvres at the side of the building could be adapted subject to the requirements of the occupants; the ventilation may be required dependent on what chemicals or matters were being used in the building.


The Delivery Manager for Strategic Sites responded with the following:

  i.  Highlighted to the Committee that the sustainability officer said the following: ‘Cooling hierarchy would be applied to reduce internal solar gains with consideration of glazing proportions and the passive shading for the building as being features which has been incorporated in the design to help minimise the heating impact’.

  ii.  Thermal analysis would be undertaken by the applicant considering future and current climate scenarios reviewing potential heating issues as the development progressed.


The Assistant Director (Delivery) said the following:

  i.  The S106 Agreement attached to the original outline had rigorous requirements in relation to the Phase 2 travel plan, which needed to be addressed prior to occupation. This included the appointment of a travel plan coordinator and setting up a travel plan coordination group. This would address wider strategic issues in relation to parking, travel patterns and the development moving forward.


Councillor Sargeant proposed an additional informative which was as follows:

That electric bikes could be charged on site.


This informative was carried unanimously.


The Committee:


Resolved unanimouslyto approve:

  i.  Planning permission of reserved matters application reference 20/02950/REM, subject to the conditions and informative set out from page 32 of the agenda pack and with authority delegated to officers to undertake appropriate minor amendments of those conditions prior to issue of the planning permission

  ii.  Amended condition 5 as above.

  iii.  Additional informative – Charging electric bikes on site. 


Supporting documents: