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Cambridge International Technology Park to be created near Arm’s HQ after planning appeal





Cambridge International Technology Park will be created close to Arm’s headquarters off Fulbourn Road, following a successful planning appeal.

The site will create 600,000 square feet of purpose-built lab space, designed to meet huge demand from life sciences companies.

A CGI of the proposed Cambridge International Technology Park, planned for land off Fulbourn Road. Image: Abstract (44514657)
A CGI of the proposed Cambridge International Technology Park, planned for land off Fulbourn Road. Image: Abstract (44514657)

Construction could begin in the new year, with the first phase delivered in 2024.

Blackstone-portfolio company BioMed Realty will develop the 15-acre site, which is currently arable farmland east of Peterhouse Technology Park, home to chip giant Arm’s global headquarters.

The greenfield site was removed from the Green Belt and allocated for employment use in the 2018 South Cambridgeshire Local Plan.

But a joint development control committee of South Cambridgeshire district and Cambridge city councillors rejected the planning application for the technology park in October 2021, arguing it would lead to “unacceptable traffic impacts which will exacerbate existing congestion in the local and wider areas” and, due to its scale, would create “unacceptable impacts on the surrounding Green Belt and landscape”.

How Cambridge International Technology Park would look. Picture: Abstract Cambridge (53194200)
How Cambridge International Technology Park would look. Picture: Abstract Cambridge (53194200)

In doing so, they went against a planning officer’s recommendation to approve the plans, and when the case was taken to appeal, the district council did not defend the decision, offered no evidence and told the Planning Inspectorate it “now believed that planning permission should be granted”.

A planning inspector agreed, noting that it in accordance with the Local Plan, that measures would be taken to mitigate the impact on the surrounding Green Belt and that it “would not have an unacceptable impact” on the highway network.

He added: “A range of benefits would arise from the development, including high quality jobs and employment, publicly accessible open space and landscaping and a biodiversity net gain. Taken together, the benefits of the scheme would be substantial.”

Permission for the development had been sought by Abstract Securities’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Abstract (Cambridge) Limited, which acquired the land from Peterhouse, the University of Cambridge college that also owns Peterhouse Technology Park.

BioMed Realty, a developer and operator of life sciences real estate, then acquired the site in September from Abstract (Cambridge).

“BioMed remains committed to investing in the UK by providing the mission-critical space that is needed to bring life-saving products and therapies to market and ensure the UK’s future success as a global leader in drug development,” said Tim Schoen, BioMed Realty CEO.

“Having engaged and worked closely with local stakeholders to bring our latest development forward, we can now deliver a scheme that will help advance Cambridge as a global home for research while supporting the local economy.”

How Cambridge International Technology Park would look. Picture: Abstract Cambridge (53194196)
How Cambridge International Technology Park would look. Picture: Abstract Cambridge (53194196)

It predicts the site will be home to 2,700 highly-skilled jobs and promises the technology park will be “one of the most sustainable in the region”, with technologies to reduce energy consumption and improve water usage, leading to “significant carbon emission reductions”.

The company said it will target a BREEAM Excellent score for sustainability and a notable net gain in biodiversity.

BioMed, a US and UK developer that entered the Cambridge market in 2012, already owns sites at Granta Park and Babraham Research Campus, along with the 430 Cambridge Science Park building that is home to Astex Therapeutics - one of more than 30 life sciences companies in the region in its buildings.

How Cambridge International Technology Park would look. Picture: Abstract Cambridge (53194198)
How Cambridge International Technology Park would look. Picture: Abstract Cambridge (53194198)

Including the new technology park, it says it has a pipeline of up to one million square feet of new Class A space for life science companies in Cambridge, where it notes that the current availability of lab space is “near zero”.

Bidwells’ Life Sciences 2030 report says the UK’s life sciences sector - with Cambridge at its epicentre - supports 260,000 jobs and contributes more than £85billion to GDP each year.



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