CAMBRIDGE INNOVATION PARK NORTH
Welcome to our 'Virtual Public Exhibition'
Cambridge Innovation Parks Limited (CIPL) invites you to provide feedback on its exciting proposals at the Cambridge Innovation Park North site located at Denny End Road, Waterbeach.
CIPL is committed to sustainable development and is seeking to combine premium serviced office space with additional amenities to create an ideal environment for high-tech companies, whilst also offering benefits to local residents and existing businesses in the area.
Your views and feedback are important to us, so please review our proposals and complete our questionnaire before Friday 20 November 2020.
Site History and the Journey to Date
The site comprises a large centrally located building (Stirling House), built for the MOD in 1995 to provide accommodation for the barracks which has since been converted into office space. A newer office building (Blenheim House) located along the eastern boundary of the site was built in 2017 and includes a gym and café/bistro which are open to the public.
A previous planning application for a mixed-use development on the site was withdrawn in January 2020. CIPL has taken stock of the feedback received and has appointed a new team to progress a completely new scheme.
The aim is to create a sustainable campus, raise the bar significantly for development in the surrounding area (including Waterbeach New Town), and identify and exploit opportunities to make a more meaningful contribution to the wider community. The existing gym and café will be an integral part of the new campus.
CIPL has already presented its emerging new plans to Waterbeach Parish Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, and is now inviting feedback from the wider community, before a new planning application is submitted.
What are we proposing?
- Retention of Stirling House and Blenheim House (including the gym and cafe);
- Construction of new office floorspace (an additional 90,000 sq.ft.) in phases to respond to new tenant interest;
- Implementation of extensive landscaping scheme across the site;
- No increase in car parking spaces in the short-term and only a modest increase to the longer-term, to align with sustainable travel improvements associted with Waterbeach New Town;
- Creation of new on-site pedestrian and cycle links to connect to the site to its existing and future surroundings;
- Provision of electric vehicle charging points and secured cycle storage for emplyees and visitors;
- Incorporation of sustainable drainage features within the landscaping scheme;
- Creation of a ‘trim trail’ around the site perimeter to promote healthy lifesytles and complemnt on the on-site gym; and
- Incorporation of renewable and low-carbon technologies, such as a solar photovoltaics (PV) and energy storage to boost energy efficiency.
Relationship to Waterbeach New Town
Is this application linked to the New Town?
No, this application falls outside the boundary of Waterbeach New Town and is being independently promoted by CIPL. The early phases of the new campus are likely to be built out in advance of the New Town, but we have future-proofed our proposals given it is next to our site.
Our development will provide new cycle and pedestrian linkages to the New Town to provide integration and connectivity between the two. A new ‘car-free’ entrance will be created at the north east corner of our site. The campus will be ‘outward facing’ to the future surrounding open spaces and its design and sustainability will be of a high standard that sets the bar for future development.
How will the proposals benefit the local community?
✓ Delivery of new high-quality office space to support the local economy
✓ Delivery of a sustainable development in sustainble location
✓ Conserve and enchance biodiversity;
✓ Creation of jobs through the construction and operational phases
✓ Investment and additional spending in the local economy
✓ Improved visual quality of the site including extensive landscaping
✓ Creation of new pedestrian and cycle links throughout the site for members of the public, including link to propsed Waterbeach New Town
✓ Use of smart technologies to help collect information on travel behaviour, and positively influence sustainable travel choices
What are the sustainability credentials of this scheme?
✓ Respond fully to planning requirements for sustainable design and construction;
✓ Achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ standard, whilst striving for ‘Excellent’ (BREEAM being the nationally recognised sustainability standard);
✓ Minimise water consumption during site operation;
✓ Develop a Travel Plan to minimise impacts on the local network;
✓ Generate at least 10% of energy from on-site renewable or low carbon sources, and ensure the buildings can easily accommodate future connections to advancing technology;
✓ Select low environmental impact and bio-based materials that also provide good insulation, and maximise pre-fabrication; and
✓ Minimise construction waste.
Landscape, Trees and Biodiversity
What are you doing to enhance the natural environment?
The landscape strategy for the site is defined by strong ecological principles and responds to the local Cambridgeshire fenland character. It helps to stitch the site into its wider the context, the existing village and Waterbeach New Town.
An ecology zone on the site will provide species-rich grassland and rich grassland habitats and ponds. Extending along the western edge, this zone forms an ecology corridor, with native planting, bug hotels and ponds. New screening to the car park areas through native hedge and tree planting will be introduced to reinforce the green nature of the site and continue the ecological corridors.
The health and wellbeing of the community is central to the design of the outdoor spaces, providing opportunities for outdoor working, dining, socialising and recreation next to buildings and around the site. An exercise ‘trim trail’ runs around the perimeter of the site with green gym components that can also produce energy.
Are there any opportunities for including pulic art?
We are keen to incorporate public art into the proposals and would like to involve the community and local artists in the process. Such a piece of public art might reflect the site’s historic military use, or it could celebrate its new sustainable credentials and be forward looking. Either way, we would like to inspire and capture the imagination of future new generations.
We don’t have any fixed ideas at this stage, but we would like to invite suggestions from the wider community on what would be appropriate proposals for public art. We are keen to connect with the local schools and would like to organise a design competition for new public art.
Will new development increase the risk of flooding?
Whilst the site has a low probability for flooding, new on-site sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) will be provided to mitigate any impacts of flooding that may arise, taking into account the impact of climate change
Some of the features include drainage ponds that will double up as landscaping features which will lie towards the front of the existing Stirling House. Permeable paving will be used where possible across the site to allow for water across the site to be infiltrated through the paving rather than run off-site.
The existing pond in front of Stirling House will form the centre of a naturalisitc wetland spine with swale running southwest to the northeast of the site with new water bodies towards the southwest and northeast. These swales will improve the attenuation on site, particularly in the southwest as well as forming a landscape feature that binds the site together.
A team of specialist consultants are in the process of undertaking a series of technical surveys, focusing on matters including highways and access, landscaping, flood risk and drainage, sustainability, biodiversity, trees and ground conditions. An architect and landscape architect are also preparing the necessary plans and drawings.
The planning application will be supported by a range of technical reports which will be available upon submission via the Council’s website.
The following information has been provided by our technical consultants.
Sustainable Transport and Highways
What about the impact on the A10?
We are very much aware of peak hour traffic constraints on the A10. Our approach seeks to avoid impact on A10 at peak times and promotes sustainable means of transport. A modest increase in car parking will be provided in the later phases of development once the New Town has commenced but in the earlier phases, we are maintaining existing car parking levels but maximising cycle parking. A Transport Assessment is being prepared to consider the implications of the proposed development on the local transport network and this approach has been agreed with the County Council’s highways department.
A site wide Travel Plan will also implemented across the site, involving all existing and proposed businesses. We will be improving the bus stops and street lighting at the site frontage and are looking at providing a shuttle bus service to the site from either Waterbeach station or Milton Park and Ride. We are aiming to create synergy with both the existing Waterbeach village as well as the New Town, which will be further enhanced by the proposed cycle and pedestrian links that will run through the site into the New Town.
Will there be any impacts during construction?
We are mindful of the potential impact that construction can have on the nearby neighbours. Therefore, all construction traffic will be routed via the A10 with no impact on the village. We also envisage using a modular approach to construction with partial construction off-site which minimises movements to and from the site, and the length of construction time on-site. These large modules will be brought to site at weekend, evening or off-peak times to minimise conflicts with other users and village traffic. There will also be a phased approach to construction, which will help limit the impacts.
When will the proposals be built?
The site will be constructed in phases. We expect that two new buildings (providing a total of 50,000 sqft) will commence construction in Autumn 2021, with completion in 2022. The final building (providing a total of 40,000 sqft) will be built in the longer-term (i.e. 2025 and beyond), to align with the delivery of new infrastructure associated with Waterbeach New Town.
Why is CIPL looking to increase office space at a time when home working is the ‘new normal’?
In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we are aware that has been unprecedented growth in home working (supported by advances in technology) enabling employees to work efficiently without needing to be physically in an office. However, some sectors (such as the high-tech and research industries) still need to work together collaboratively due to the nature of their work. Other people may not have the best home working environment and may still prefer to work from the office while others may seek the flexibility of both options. We also need to plan beyond the pandemic and enable people to work together and safely in the future.
The proposed scheme is being designed to be a ‘Covid-friendly’ workplace with extra-large, adaptable and open-plan spaces to ensure social distancing can be maintained to allow for a future-ready office environment. We are also promoting outdoor working, dining, socialising and recreation.
How can I Comment on the Proposals?
Consultation has now closed. We would like to thank everyone who took time out of their day to comment on the proposals and we have taken all responses into consideration. However, if you have anything else you would like to say then please email UKPlanningComment@wsp.com. Otherwise, there will be another more formal public consultation exercise carried out by SCDC in the New Year.
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018, your details, queries and responses you have provided (on the online questionnaire or via emails and phone calls) will be held securely by CIPL and WSP who may then share it with third party data storage systems. We are committed to protecting your privacy and will not release your personal information to anyone.
The information provided will only be used for the purposes of this consultation exercise and for statistical analysis within the Statement of Community Involvement which will be submitted with the planning application. Your responses will be anonymised, and we will not publish your personal data or contact numbers.
You can update, request a copy of, and delete your data at any time by sending an email to UKPlanningComment@wsp.com.