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      Babraham Research Campus Given Go Ahead For World-Class New Office And Lab Space

      One of the UK’s leading Life Science Institutions, Babraham Research Campus, has received planning permission to construct a new office and laboratory building and expand its Campus in Cambridgeshire.

      03 Feb 2022 3 MINUTE READ

      The new development will enable the UK, and the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, to strengthen its position in the global life sciences sector by offering up sustainable office and lab space to existing life sciences companies. The building will be multi-tenanted, allowing more companies to grow in the sector.

      Bidwells acted on 83 per cent of all office and lab transactions in the Arc during 2021, when more than £1bn was invested into the Arc by national and international investors.

      The new development at Babraham will help the Campus to cement itself as one of the leading locations in the world for bioscience discovery and research. The provision of this new lab and office space will provide companies with outstanding scientific facilities to aid in their research, but also networking and collaboration.

      Given the site’s location in the Green Belt, it was necessary to prepare a robust case to set out the range of very special circumstances in support of the development and to clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt. This included research by Bidwells’ Socio-Economic team in confirming an identified need for additional research and development floorspace at the Campus.

      With the help of Bidwells’ Project Management and Building Surveying teams, the proposal took 8 months to deliver from design inception through to securing planning permission. We met the client's very tight construction programme and the build process is expected to begin imminently.”
      - Alison Wright, Partner, Planning, Bidwells

      The planning application was unanimously approved on 8 December 2021 by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Committee. The decision was then subject to referral by the Secretary of State who confirmed in January 2022 that they would not call in the application. The decision notice was subsequently issued on Thursday 13 January 2022.

      Babraham Research Campus is currently home to over 60 companies, with 1,500 employees, and 300 academic researchers. It is expected that both the facilities construction and the companies that service the campus will support 174 new jobs. The development is also projected to have a net effect of at least £5.74m in Gross Value Added (GVA) in Cambridgeshire.

      In addition to the significant economic benefits, the proposal will also secure several environmental, social and health benefits, including a Biodiversity Net Gain of over 20%. The development is also targeted to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, achieving up to a 40% Carbon Dioxide reduction, significantly exceeding the minimum planning requirement of 10%.  

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