Policy S/GC: Genome Campus, Hinxton

DRAFT version for various committee meetings.

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Figure 34: Map showing boundary of proposed special policy area
Figure 34: Map showing boundary of proposed special policy area

What will this policy do?

This policy will guide the future expansion and development of the existing Genome Campus site.

Proposed policy direction

The Genome Campus, Hinxton will be identified as a Special Policy Area.

The policy will include:

  • Supporting development which relates to the campus and its role as a centre for genomics and associated bioinformatics industries
  • Proposals for B2 (industry) and B8 (warehousing) uses will need to be justified by a needs assessment which sets out the specific requirements of the intended occupier to locate onto the Site
  • Requiring supporting uses to consider impact in terms of vitality and viability on local or minor rural centres in the area.
  • Enabling opening up of the Campus to members of the public, as part of delivering wider social benefits.
  • Ensuring environmental and other impacts are fully considered by any future proposals.

Why is this policy needed?

The Genome Campus, Hinxton is set within and adjacent to the estate of Hinxton Hall on 125-acres of landscaped parkland bordering the River Cam. The Campus is the world’s leading centre for genomics research, having played a central role in the Human Genome Project (1990-2003), which read and recorded the complete sequence of DNA in an individual for the first time.

In 2020 South Cambridgeshire District Council granted planning permission for a mixed-use development which would provide up to a further 150,000 square metres of new research and translation floorspace. The Wellcome Trust want the Campus to become an international centre for scientific, business, cultural and educational activities arising from genomes and biodata. It estimates that around 4,300 new jobs will be created by the expansion of the campus. The jobs will be accompanied by up to 1,500 new homes specifically for Campus workers, along with a new school, a nursery and community facilities, and public open spaces and allotments.

The existing site is recognised in the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018 as an ‘Established Employment Area in the Countryside’. However, given the scale and range of uses now permitted within the site, and as a major expansion to it, a new policy is needed. The planning permission for the development includes a range of requirements and criteria designed to recognise the unique nature of the site and ensure future uses support the primary role of the Genome Campus, and these will be used to inform the development of the new policy.

What consultation have we done on this issue?

There was no specific consultation on this issue in the First Conversation consultation.

What alternatives did we consider?

No Policy – without a policy designation the area would be within countryside policies, which would not reflect the scale of change taking place in the area or provide a suitable context for future proposals within the site.

Supporting evidence studies and topic papers

  • Greater Cambridge Local Plan: Topic paper 1: Strategy

Existing policies in adopted 2018 Local Plans

South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018

  • N/A (identified as an Established Employment area in the Countryside)

Cambridge Local Plan 2018 - None

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