8. Employment

Employment Development Opportunities

What you told us previously

We asked whether the plan should encourage a range of employment opportunities to meet the needs of different businesses and to maximise the potential of successful clusters in the area. We also proposed that it should include social facilities to make it an attractive area to work.

You told us you would like to see a mixed use development that integrates with the surrounding area. Flexibility was important, as well as providing a range of uses, although a range of views was expressed on the types of business that should be supported.

8.1 North East Cambridge has a significant role to play in meeting the future employment needs of the Greater Cambridge area.

8.2 The success of the Greater Cambridge area is of national importance. Evidence that informed our current Local Plans highlighted that North East Cambridge was an area of high demand for employment space in Cambridge. The highly accessible location, combined with the presence of a range of successful businesses, including at the Science Park and St. Johns Innovation Park, makes the area attractive to business. The area presents a significant opportunity to support the clustering of related businesses in high technology sectors and related businesses that have developed in Greater Cambridge.

8.3 Employment will form an important part of the mix bringing together a diverse range of business and employment opportunities to create a vibrant new district for Cambridge, where there are opportunities for existing and new residents to live and work in the area, and which responds to the transport constraints and opportunities in the area.

8.4 As highlighted in chapter 2 of this report, adjoining wards are among the most deprived in Cambridgeshire. Development could also provide opportunities for specific measures to share the benefits of new development with surrounding communities, such as training and employment opportunities

Types of employment space

8.5 NEC will need to meet the needs of a range of users. Cambridge firms come in a range of sizes, from start-ups with a few individuals to major firms with hundreds of employees. Many high technology firms carry out research and development (R&D) in office-like buildings. However, there is also demand for specialist laboratory space, alongside office uses. Our evidence has also suggested the need for grow-on space for firms in the area, or space for large firms.

Issue: Types of Employment Space

(11) Question 34: Are there specific types of employment spaces that we should seek to support in this area?

(10) Question 35: In particular, should the plan require delivery of:

A - a flexible range of unit types and sizes, including for start-ups and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs);

B - Specialist uses like commercial laboratory space;

C - hybrid buildings capable of a mix of uses, incorporating offices and manufacturing uses.

D - shared social spaces, for example central hubs, cafes.

E - Others (please specify).

Industrial and other employment uses

What you told us previously

The redevelopment options we consulted on previously showed different ways of reconfiguring the current uses on the eastern area. We also asked about the future of the Nuffield Road industrial estate.

You told us we should make the most of this area, and give more consideration to other uses like residential, but there was still a need for industrial uses in the City. Some existing site users expressed concern, and that alternative sites would be required if they were to be relocated. With regard to Nuffield Road, environmental benefits of alternative uses for the area such as residential uses were expressed.

8.6 There are a number of industrial uses currently within the area. These provide an important function for Cambridge, and there is a limited supply of industrial land currently in the City. Areas like Cambridge Commercial Park (sometimes referred to as Cowley Road Industrial Estate) accommodate a range of functions which are important to the Cambridge economy.

8.7 However, much of the land in the area is under-utilised in terms of development density. In order to make best use of the opportunities provided by North East Cambridge, and the potential unlocked by relocating the water recycling centre, the area will come under increasing pressure for change.

8.8 Examples from around the country have shown that there are ways to accommodate some industrial uses within high density urban environments using innovative solutions. Careful consideration would need to be given to the compatibility with adjoining uses such as residential development.

8.9 Alternatively, provision could be made elsewhere for these uses, in order to maximise the development potential of the area, providing the alternative locations meet the needs of current occupiers. This may be necessary for some uses, which cannot be delivered in a way compatible with a new city district.

Issue: Approach industrial uses

(11) Question 36: Which of the following approaches should the AAP take to existing industrial uses in the North East Cambridge area?

A - seek to relocate industrial uses away from the North East Cambridge area?

B - seek innovative approaches to supporting uses on site as part of a mixed use City District?

(13) Question 37: Are there particular uses that should be retained in the area or moved elsewhere?

Precedent examples of innovative approaches to industrial development


Industrial (Travis Perkins) with residential development above

St Pancras, London

(Source: Cooley Architects)


Office, commercial and residential mixed use development

The Sun Ship, Freiburg

(Source: Rolf Disch Architects)

Supporting Study



Greater Cambridge Housing Strategy

Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Councils are jointly preparing a new housing strategy, which will be published in 2019.

To be completed

Objectively Assessed Housing Need

The Council's adopted Local Plans include housing targets for the period to 2031. Housing need will be reviewed through the Local Plan Review which commences in 2019. A new evidence base will be prepared to inform the review.

To be completed

Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment

Identifies the specific housing needs of the Gypsy and Travellers community. The Councils current assessment was completed in 2016, and it will be reviewed to inform the Local Plan review.

Completed / to be updated

North East Cambridge AAP Development Viability Assessment

A Viability Assessment will be prepared to accompany the AAP.

To be completed

Evidence for Residential Space Standards

Evidence prepared by South Cambridgeshire District Council in September 2016, to demonstrate the need to apply the national residential space standards in South Cambridgeshire.

Cambridge City Council considered issues in an Examination Hearing Statement: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/media/2210/cc6-ccc.pdf


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