University of Cambridge plans Forvie Site redevelopment on Cambridge Biomedical Campus to create world-class neuroscience research centre
A “world class research centre focused on neurosciences and mental health” is proposed for Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
The University of Cambridge wants to redevelop the Forvie Site, off Robinson Way, as it said the existing buildings need replacing.
The West Forvie building, in particular, has been described as “falling into disrepair”. It is home to the Anne McLaren Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine (LRM), the Cardiovascular Laboratory, the Molecular Imaging Laboratory and the Phenomics Laboratory and opened in 2009.
Planners shared information about their proposals with councillors at the Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council joint development control committee meeting last Wednesday (November 15).
A full planning application to demolish and rebuild the West Forvie building is expected in March, with outline plans also expected for the wider phased redevelopment.
Subject to planning approval, the two-storey West Forvie building would be demolished first and replaced with a four-storey building housing the new research centre.
Two other buildings for scientific research would also be constructed and a “landscape-led approach” taken for the site, keeping as many of the existing trees as possible, planners said.
The number of car parking spaces would be reduced to make the site “more people focused”, councillors heard, and there was recognition of the challenge of water shortages in the city.
Cllr Katie Thornburrow (Lab, Petersfield) urged the developers to make sure the drainage was “over designed”.
She noted there had been issues with the drainage at a nearby residential development, with heavy soils in the area. And she added that the design parameters for sustainable drainage systems were “not keeping up with what we are finding with heavy rains and storms”.
Cllr Katie Porrer (Lib Dem, Market) was concerned that a four-storey building would replace one around two storeys tall.
Cllr Simon Smith (Lab, Castle) asked how the planners proposed to manage the future transport impacts of people travelling to and from the site, suggesting that the Biomedical campus was “pretty much at capacity”.
The planners said they would ensure that was addressed when the planning application is submitted.