Letter: Cambridge Biomedical Campus Growth Plans & the Local Plan

Dear Wendy,
The Trumpington Residents’ Association, Rustat Neighbourhood Association and Great Shelford Parish Council, on whose behalf I am writing, wish to increase informed interest in the Cambridge Biomedical Campus’s (CBC’s) growth aspirations. These are represented at present in the two Local Plan authorities continuing to consider taking another 19 hectares out of the Green Belt to add to the 77 already removed in the current and previous Local Plans. In fact, the CBC’s Vision 2050 goes well beyond this with a “conservative estimate” of projected need requiring –
“… a development pipeline of new opportunities between 100,000 and 150,000 sq ft GIA (gross internal area) per annum… Over the next 20 years, this would equate to an additional workforce of between 14,000 and 20,000 – approximately double the staff presently working on the Campus.” [Our emphasis]
This goes well beyond the 19 additional hectares currently under consideration, and CBC Limited has consistently refused to rule out even more growth in the future – growth which is not necessary in this location when there are designated development sites close by in Cambridge East, Cambridge North East and elsewhere, as demonstrated in the TRA’s additional submission to the Local Plan First proposals – copy attached – summary in the Conclusion on page 3. (Also see footnote*)
The driving forces behind Vision 2050’s growth aspirations are the commercial life sciences most notably represented by Astra Zeneca – with CBC being seen as “the anchor of the South Cambridge life sciences cluster”. [Page 27] This is in contrast to Vision 2020 which originated in Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s desire to see directly associated clinical and other research developed alongside its clinical excellence, particularly the research institutes, together with health provision for a growing and ageing population, the establishment of two new hospitals for cancer treatment and research and for children across the Eastern Region – plus relocation of the pioneering Royal Papworth Hospital. The hospitals on the CBC site which are of greatest importance by far to local people are not in the forefront of Vision 2050. Its growth aspirations lie elsewhere in the global life sciences world represented physically in a “global locality”, and a future “peri-urban quarter”**. [Pages 29&30]
We are concerned that even now despite this information being available in the public domain it is receiving so little public attention – despite it also being the only exception to the proposed strategic policy of no development on “the edge of Cambridge” in the Green Belt. Therefore, we want to raise the profile of this strategically important issue in advance of this year’s public consultation on a draft Local Plan – and to do so by seeking to involve other residents’ associations likely to be affected by the CBC’s plans. We ask for FeCRA’s help in doing this.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes
David Plank
For Trumpington Residents’ Association, Great Shelford Parish Council & Rustat Neighbourhood Association
*Based on an earlier study, the TRA’s Note & Comment states that removal of this land would cause “high harm” to the Greater Cambridge Green Belt. The latest assessment by the two councils for the new Local Plan assesses this as “very high harm”, the highest category of harm.
** Wikipedia – “Peri-urbanisation relates to those processes of dispersive urban growth that create landscapes of fragmented urban and rural characteristics”. 

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *