The Kanda team of Emma Benson, Charles Mabbutt, Ricky Thake and Nick Ward were delighted to see the Joint Development Control Committee, which is made up of members from both Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council, approve the development plans for Vitrum by Breakthrough by 11 votes to 1. The permission is for the redevelopment of the existing Vitrum Building on St John’s Innovation Park, into high-quality, wellbeing-led laboratories and workspaces with leading sustainability credentials that will enhance the innovation park.

Kanda has an expanding presence in the East of England and this is the latest success in a growing list of successful projects outside of the capital.

The site is located within the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan, which is a policy included in the emerging Greater Cambridge Local Plan and Greater Cambridge’s Joint Development Control Committee Area. This required Kanda to navigate cross-party engagement with two Local Authorities and Milton Parish Council, in addition to local residents, active community groups and schools.

Youth engagement was undertaken with students at the nearby Shirley Community Primary School, where over forty children designed street furniture for a public open space. From these, two winning designs were selected to form part of the development proposal.

The scheme will provide modern and flexible workspaces that will help meet the growing demand for high-quality life science lab space, in one of the UK’s most supply-constrained clusters. Creating an additional 12,269sqm of research and development space on previously developed land within the St John’s Innovation Park, helping to drive local economic growth by attracting leading scientists and creating up to 700 new well-paid jobs.

This will be a highly sustainable building with a focus on increasing energy efficiency, water conservation, reducing carbon emissions and providing healthy workspaces. Together with  the provision of new amenity spaces including: gym; co-working areas; café; as well as future access to the terraces alongside a public square and colonnade.

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