Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) has published its emerging Vision for the future evolution and development of the campus following the first ‘conversations’ with the public and interest groups.
Since March, the conversation has involved offering members of the public access to a draft summary of the Vision with the opportunity to comment and ask questions via a special website, as well as a number of discussion sessions with representative local community groups and interest groups.
The comments and feedback received have helped influence the published Vision, which is an important part of shaping a Local Plan submission from local landowners, who the CBC is working with to enable it to grow sensibly and appropriately into the future.
Laurel Powers-Freeling, Chair of Cambridge University Health Partners, said: “We want to thank everyone who has taken part in the conversation on our Vision for the CBC. We’re conscious that these discussions would have ideally taken place six months earlier, but we hope people will understand that the CBC partners—our four hospitals, the medics and researchers of the University Clinical School, the scientists at our MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and others—were fully focused on dealing with the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has delayed us.
“Despite this, the input we have received in the past weeks has helped us to confirm and shape elements of the Vision we are publishing today and we’ll be continuing our meetings with local groups. All the feedback we gather through our conversation will contribute to helping us refine the Vision moving forward. Beyond that, we are committed to ongoing, meaningful engagement with neighbouring communities, which we see as an important part of better integrating the campus into to the local community.”
Areas of influence include a commitment to preserve significant areas of green and open space, including natural environments, to prevent the merging of the villages surrounding the CBC and the inclusion of more genuinely accessible and open space on the existing campus where possible. The need to reduce congestion in the surrounding areas through investment in better travel solutions is also confirmed.
Additional planned discussions with community and interest groups will be held, alongside further consideration of the feedback already received, to continue to refine the final Vision. This will ensure that the Vision is in the best position possible to shape the evolution of the existing campus and the detail of growth plans as they come forward in the future.
Consideration will also be given as to how the CBC can improve its communication and engagement with neighbouring communities after this was raised as an issue in the discussions.
Jan Löwe, Director at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, said: “The CBC is an incredibly unique location, with the power of complementary institutions co-locating together, helping us to translate world-leading science into healthcare and jobs for local people. We should never take this for granted, and so it’s hugely important that we set a course for this work to continue to prosper.
“The CBC will only continue to innovate, succeed and deliver by integrating more closely with Cambridge and local communities. We hope that our conversation with local groups demonstrates our commitment to this course. We want to grow in a way that delivers benefits beyond the great work of CBC partners, creating a welcoming environment for everyone.”
The Vision and related background can be viewed at www.cbc-vision.co.uk where people have the chance to feed back their views. Smaller scale discussions with specific representative groups are continuing to contribute to the refinement of the Vision.