Cambridge University Reporter

Second Report of the Council on a proposal for a new building project at West Cambridge (the East Forum): Notice

18 April 2005

The Council have considered the remarks made in the Discussion of the proposal for a new building at West Cambridge (the East Forum) (Reporter, p. 565).

Some of the remarks in the Discussion concern the need for a business plan for Cambridge Enterprise to be presented before final approval is given to the East Forum project. The Council accept this. This Report is a first-stage Report seeking approval for a revised approach to the East Forum Project and the Council reiterate the statement in paragraph 20(f) of the Report that: 'The [second-stage] Third Report would not be presented without the prior presentation of the implementation of the proposal to separate Cambridge Enterprise from the Research Services Division and of the initial business plan of the new Cambridge Enterprise'.

Reference was made to whether the East Forum was sited in the optimum position on the West Cambridge site. The currently proposed location of the East Forum has been carefully considered to enable it to perform its function as a social centre for the eastern part of the West Cambridge site. The location of the East Forum is, in this respect, a key feature of the Master Plan, which has been agreed after much negotiation with the planning authorities. The location of the East Forum was an important consideration in finally achieving Outline Planning approval.

Professor A. Mycroft referred to the need for additional facilities at the West Cambridge site, including a convenience shop and a cash dispenser. The Council accept the need for the provision of basic shopping facilities and a cash dispenser at West Cambridge. Plans are in hand which they expect to lead to such facilities being in place early in the next academical year.

Professor A. Mycroft also suggested that there should be a tax added to the cost of new buildings to fund general infrastructure. There is currently an arrangement, the Infrastructure Levy, which is charged on all new buildings on the West Cambridge Site, except those which have a communal purpose (for example the cafe and atrium in the East Forum). The levy funds basic site development including roads, landscaping and utilities. It does not cover provision of amenities such as catering facilities, shops, or cash machines. The Council have agreed to ask the Planning and Resources Committee to consider Professor Mycroft's suggestion that the levy should also cover such amenities.

The Council are submitting a Grace to the Regent House (Grace 3, p. 632) for the approval of the recommendation in their Report of a revised approach to the East Forum project.