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Redevelopment of the Grafton in Cambridge approved

Photo: Corstorphine & Wright Ltd/Pioneer Group Ltd

Major plans to create more lab space have been given the go ahead.

Cambridge City Council has approved the plans to partially demolish the shopping centre in order to create new life science laboratories, as well as a hotel and gym.

Objections to the development had been raised by some in the city, over concerns about how the taller buildings could impact Cambridge’s historic skyline.

However, overall councillors said they believed the benefits of the redevelopment outweighed the harm it could cause.

Richard O’Boyle, chief executive of Pioneer Group:

"Overall feedback confirmed the Grafton needs to change and needs to evolve.

"Our proposals do so much more and secure its long term future and also have the potential to bring huge social and economic benefits.

"Economically it will provide five times more jobs, not just highly qualified jobs, senior scientists catch headlines, but they need a large team behind them."

Under the plans 11,000sqm of retail floorspace is due to remain, with 47,000sqm of life science space planned to be created.

The plans also proposed to redevelop the existing bus turning head into a new hotel and gym.

A new pedestrian access to the Grafton Centre is planned to be opened up from Christchurch Street to Burleigh Street, and work is proposed to improve East Road with new bus stops, and cycle routes.

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