Council raises concerns over plans to triple size of Wellcome Genome Campus

PUBLISHED: 08:55 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:55 22 March 2019

There are plans to triple the size of the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton.

There are plans to triple the size of the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton.

Archant

Cambridgeshire County Council has raised concerns over plans to triple the size of the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton.

A planning application received by South Cambridgeshire District Council in December last year outlined proposals to increase the space available for employment, conferencing and other facilities at the campus.

Cutting-edge scientific research is carried out by about 2,500 people who currently work at the campus, which the Wellcome Trust says is fast reaching capacity.

As a result, the Wellcome Trust is seeking permission to expand the campus to create what it calls a ‘scientific community’, mainly on land to the east of the existing site across the A1301.

The site currently has around 75,000sqm of employment space and conferencing facilities.

The economy and environment committee at Cambridgeshire County Council was asked to give its feedback to the proposals at a meeting held earlier this month.

The authority objected to the overall plan of the site as it had been developed “without regard to the historic environment assets discovered at the site” and it also objected to a new school on the site due to the low number of pupils requiring places.

The council said any new school needed to be financially viable and not have a detrimental impact upon existing schools. Councillors resolved to have officers work with the developer to address its objections.

The proposal includes plans for 150,000sqm of new employment floorspace, around 4,300 new jobs, up to 1,500 new homes for campus-based employees, a nursery for up to 120 children, a health centre, a community hall, a conference centre, shops and food and drink outlets, public open spaces including a central common, allotments, alterations to local roads including a new roundabout on the A1301 and a primary school and technical education facility.

The county council’s report also outlined that it would expect the Wellcome Trust to contribute £321,000 to library services and £292,065 to support the new community through mental health funding and other initiatives.

The county council’s comments will now be considered by South Cambridgeshire District Council, which will decide whether to back the plans or refuse them.

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