‘Post apocalyptic’ Cambridgeshire wasteland to be transformed into life science campus

A CGI of Cambridge Discovery Campus

An abandoned sewage works in Hauxton, Cambridgeshire, which was described by a councillor as being like a “post-apocalyptic wasteland”, will be transformed into a new life science campus after outline planning permission for the project was approved.

Developer Bridgemere Land said it will clean up the highly contaminated land – fallout from deteriorated silos and tanks from the former sewage works which closed in 2005 – and create an additional 30-acre country park around the north and west of the site.

The new 343,000 sq. ft. Cambridge Discovery Campus will comprise six new office and laboratory buildings and create about 1,000 new jobs when it opens.

Hauxton Parish Council supported the development, highlighting that the developer had worked closely with the village when preparing the plans. Cllr Pondori Kurade said the amenity building would “add a lot of value to the local community”.

During a previous visit to the former sewage works, Cllr Peter Sandford said he thought it looked like a “post-apocalyptic wasteland”.

A total of eight councillors voted in favour of Bridgemere Land’s plans, while one voted against and another abstained. More detailed plans must be submitted before work can start.

Will Heath, CEO of Bridgemere Land, said: “The importance of Cambridge as a leading life science location both nationally and internationally cannot be underestimated. Confidence in the sector and Cambridge’s ability to become a life sciences superpower was further enhanced recently with the announcement that £200m is to be invested in the expansion of AstraZeneca’s facility at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus - within Europe’s largest life science cluster - which will house approximately 1,000 employees.

“We are delighted to be able to make our own contribution to the future success of the life sciences sector in Cambridge via the provision of much needed, state-of-the-art R&D buildings within a campus that not only supports the health innovations of tomorrow, but which also contributes positively to the local community and surrounding area with additional amenity and green space for everyone to enjoy.”

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