A decision on planning permission for the £13 million expansion of Chesterford Research Park has been deferred after district councillors raised concerns over the effectiveness of proposed cycle path access to the site.

At a meeting on August 2, members of Uttlesford District Council voted unanimously to postpone granting full planning permission for the development of the site.

Councillors attributed this decision to a bid for plans of a more extensive cycle network linking the development to the Essex-Cambridge border town of Saffron Walden to be discussed.

This is despite permission being recommended for approval, although the application is classed as reserved matters.

Case officer Chris Tyler’s statement noted that the Chesterford Research Park is a "well-established employment site" and that the plans had been deemed "acceptable in terms of principle, location, characters and appearance and transport options".

In response, a statement from Little Chesterford Parish Council read: "The council is always pleased to support sustainable development… provided the impact on neighbouring communities is appropriately mitigated.

"However, we believe that the (cycle path) provisions that are currently proposed do not yet meet the requirements of being proportionate to the scale of the development, nor do they ensure meaningful implementation."

It was suggested that designs be drawn up for a cycle path linking Little Chesterford and Saffron Walden, which Councillor Richard Pavitt  said was "long overdue".

Chairing the meeting, Councillor Richard Freeman said: "This is possibly the largest development we will see put in front of this administration in terms of its value, and I am very supportive of the Chesterford Research Park.


"But it’s a flaw of the planning process that you cannot fix all the problems of the district."

Councillor Geoff Bagnall said: "I’ll happily second the deferral… we owe it to the communities of Uttlesford."

Plans for Chesterford Research Park’s expansion were first submitted in June 2022 due to the "high demand for life science space in the Cambridge Cluster".

The expansion will also include more than 200 car parking spaces and over 100 secure covered bicycle spaces.

Chesterford Research Park has been used as a scientific research and developmental facility since the 1940s.