A new gym, outdoor barbeque spots and a cafe are proposed as part of a redesign of a new research and development park on the edge of Cambridge.

The Cambridge International Technology Park is planned to be built on the edge of the city, off Fulbourn Road.

The new business park will include laboratory space as well as office space, and a multi-decked car park.

The planning application for the business park was initially refused permission after concerns were raised about the development ‘exacerbating’ congestion in the area, and that the size of the buildings would have an “unacceptable impact” on the surrounding green belt landscape.

However, this refusal was overturned after an appeal was lodged with the planning inspectorate.

Councillors from Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council were given a briefing about plans to adapt the first building at a meeting of the joint development control committee on Wednesday June 21, ahead of a formal planning application being submitted.

Representatives of the BioMed Realty said the proposed changes aimed to “enhance” the development, and “address some of the legacy concerns”.

Some of the changes proposed include to the outside appearance of the building, making more of the internal office space into laboratories, and adding a new cafe, gym, and flexible-use community room.

Ely Standard: Artist impression of proposed redesign of Cambridge International Technology Park. Image shared at meeting. Artist impression of proposed redesign of Cambridge International Technology Park. Image shared at meeting. (Image: BioMed Realty)

The representatives said the changes to the exterior included reducing the amount of glass and instead using materials they said were similar to what had been used elsewhere in Cambridge.

The first building had been planned to just include office space, but councillors heard the hope is to make it 60 per cent laboratory space, and 40 per cent office space.

The representatives explained that as laboratories would have fewer people working in them compared to the offices, there would also be a reduction in the amount of traffic coming to and from the park.

They also said they were hoping to reduce the number of car parking spaces from 915 spaces to 808 spaces, and to increase the amount of cycle parking from 366 spaces to 426. The amount of accessible cycle spaces are also proposed to be increased from 28 to 86 spaces.

The representatives said the adapted designs stayed within the footprint of the already permitted building.

They added that some landscaping changes were also proposed, including creating barbeque spots and installing table tennis tables.

Councillors were allowed to ask questions about the plans, but were not able to offer their own views at this stage.

Some questions were raised about the majority of cycle parking spaces proposed to be double stacked parking, rather than sheffield stands.

Councillor Anna Bradnam said the double stacked stands could be hard for some people to use, and said she struggled with them due to them being heavy.

The representatives said they would follow the council’s policy requirements for cycle parking when submitting the plans.

Councillor Dr Tumi Hawkins asked if creating a space for a child care facility had been considered, and said this could be helpful for young families working at the park.

The developer representatives said conversations about child care options were taking place with existing providers in the area, and that it would be considered as the wider park plans were developed.

A planning application is expected to be submitted at a later date by the developer to formally ask permission for the proposed changes.

These plans will then be fully presented to councillors again, who will decide if it can go ahead or not.