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No 6240

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Vol cxlii No 5

pp. 81–101



1 November, Tuesday. All Saints Day. Scarlet Day.

6 November, Sunday. Commemoration of Benefactors. Preacher before the University at 11.15 a.m., Lord Wilson of Dinton, Master of Emmanuel College (Lady Margaret’s Preacher). Scarlet Day.

8 November, Tuesday. Discussion at 2 p.m. in the Senate-House.

9 November, Wednesday. Michaelmas Term divides.

Discussions at 2 p.m.


8 November

26 November, Saturday at 2 p.m.

22 November

6 December

North West Cambridge: An update on current progress and the development of proposals for a first phase: Notice

24 October 2011

1. The purpose of this Notice is to provide members of the University with an update on current progress with the North West Cambridge project and to inform them of a decision taken by the Council at its meeting on 17 October to take forward detailed planning work for a Phase 1 preparatory to presenting a case for such a development to the Regent House during the course of 2012. The Council also approved the membership of the West and North West Cambridge Estates Syndicate.

Planning application submitted

2. As authorized by the Regent House in Grace 2 of 15 June 2011, the Registrary submitted a planning application for the University’s lands at North West Cambridge on 22 September 2011. It is currently anticipated that a resolution to grant consent will be considered by the planning authorities in January 2012 and, consequent upon that being in the University’s favour, full consent would follow with approval of s.106 obligations and other reserved matters in April or May 2012. The full planning submission can be viewed or downloaded from the North West Cambridge website:

Feasibility study for a Phase 1 of development

3. In parallel with the preparations for the submission of the planning application for the site as a whole, the North West Cambridge office has prepared a Feasibility Study for a Phase 1 development. This was later supplemented by an Addendum that explored in more detail how accommodation for post-doctoral research staff and postgraduate students might be configured in collegiate form. This concept was influenced by a joint College and University Committee under the Chairmanship of Lord Wilson of Dinton (the Master of Emmanuel College) whose report entitled Growing Cambridge was broadly welcomed as a basis for further discussion by the Colleges Committee at its meeting on 9 July 2011. (A PDF of Growing Cambridge is available at

4. The Feasibility Study and its Addendum have been considered by the Finance Committee at its meetings on 6 July and 14 September 2011, by the Council at its annual residential strategic retreat on 26 September 2011 and at its formal meeting on 17 October 2011. The Finance Committee and the Council also considered a preliminary report by Rothschild’s on how the University might choose to finance the project following the Regent House’s approval by Grace 4 of 9 February 2011 of the recommendations in the Report of the Council on external financing for the development of its land holdings in North West Cambridge and other building projects, which authorized the Council in advance to arrange, on the advice of the Finance Committee, external finance up to a total amount of £350m, earmarked for the Capital Plan and the North West Cambridge development.

5. The Feasibility Study, its Addendum, and the Rothschild’s report have been restricted in their circulation to the members of the Project Board, the Finance Committee, and the Council because they contain commercially confidential material. It is, however, intended to produce a detailed case for Phase 1 that draws on these documents and subsequent work for wider circulation to enable the members of the Regent House to make an informed decision about whether they wish to approve Phase 1. That detailed case will be part of a Report that will be published during the course of 2012.

Proposed elements in Phase 1

6. The current Feasibility Study and its Addendum proposes a Phase 1 development that would be comprised of the following elements:

a. Site infrastructure and landscaping

b. University housing for letting at subsidized rents (approximately 530 units)

c. Market housing for sale (approximately 300 units)

d. University housing for letting at market rents (approximately 56 units)

e. Supermarket and eight retail units

f. 3-star hotel (approximately 130 beds)

g. Senior living accommodation (approximately 75 self-contained rooms)

h. Primary school (single form entry)

i. Outdoor sports facilities

The plan below illustrates the scope of the development within the Master Plan approved by the Regent House. The intention of Phase 1 would be to contribute to the strategic need of the University to provide affordable and high quality housing for post-doctoral research staff and others at the beginning of their careers with the University. It will also ensure that a mixed community is developed with significant facilities provided at the outset in a landscaped environment with transport infrastructure within the site, and between it and the rest of the City. The market housing, hotel, retail developments, and senior living accommodation also contribute significantly to the financial viability of the Phase.

North West Cambridge Phase 1 Illustrative Plan More detailed versions: JPEG | PDF

North West Cambridge Phase 1 Illustrative Plan

Potential for new student accommodation in Phase 1

7. Plans for Phase 1 will be laid so that they could also include new student accommodation (with the likelihood that this would be for postgraduates) during the detailed development of the Phase 1 elements or at a later date. Any such proposal would only be taken forward following detailed consultation with the Colleges to determine their needs and whether it is thought desirable to pursue the concept that some of the accommodation for students and/or post-doctoral research staff might be configured to form the nucleus of a new College (initially an approved society).

Budget for pre-contract works for Phase 1

8. In order to take forward the Phase 1 concept to the point of detailed design of the site and each element within it will involve a further significant investment. The budget for these pre-contract works for Phase 1 has been set at £13.25m for the period up to November 2012 by the Project Board. On the advice of the Finance Committee, the Council approved this budget as a loan from the Chest at its meeting on 17 October 2011. The authorized warrants for the project to date total £10.32m. The Council notes that the budget for the pre-contract works covers the elements set out in the Feasibility Report together with the development of the University housing for letting at market rates. It also covers the potential for the development of new student accommodation depending on the outcome of the discussions with the Colleges referred to above. Any significant variation to the elements which have now been determined will require revisions to the budget.

Financial viability of the project and the Council’s decision to proceed with pre-contract works

9. The Council is convinced of the strategic case for proceeding. In that context, it is satisfied that the project as a whole and, in particular, Phase 1, is financially viable, a view shared by the Finance Committee. It is also satisfied that the risks of the project have been properly assessed and that the projected capital investment required of the University for Phase 1 is affordable by the University within the context of Grace 4 of 9 February 2011 and will not impair its ability to continue to invest appropriately in academic budgets and capital. As the Council made clear in its Report on the governance arrangements for the North West Cambridge project and for the development of West Cambridge, the financial affairs of the Syndicate will be ring-fenced and the financial model for the project makes a clear distinction between capital and recurrent expenditure for the project and the normal operations of the University.

10. In coming to its view, the Council did not wish to authorize further expenditure on development work unless it felt confident that it could in principle recommend approval to the Regent House during 2012 for work to commence on Phase 1 as described in this Notice. To do otherwise would be to expend significant sums of money without a clear intention. The Council has therefore decided that it will recommend in due course that the Regent House approve a Grace to make funds available to proceed with the construction works of Phase 1 unless a material change in the financial appraisal renders the project unviable or some other unforeseen event alters its current view of the strategic imperative for proceeding. The Council is conscious of the significance of its decision and wishes to inform the Regent House of it through this Notice. It will continue to inform the Regent House in the coming months of progress prior to publishing a Report as proposed to seek approval for beginning construction work of Phase 1.

Formation of the Syndicate for the West and North West Cambridge Estates

11. The Council also considered the establishment of a Syndicate for the West and North West Cambridge Estates approved by Grace 2 of 19 May 2011 and approved its membership under the Chairmanship of Mr Alexander Johnston, who will serve initially until 31 December 2015 in that capacity. Professor Jeremy Sanders, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs, has been nominated as the Deputy Chairman of the Syndicate. The Syndicate will replace the Project Board with effect from 1 November 2011. The Project Board will be stood down from the same date. The Council is grateful for the considerable work undertaken by members of the Project Board to steer the project to the point it has now reached. The full membership of the Syndicate will be published shortly. The Syndicate will establish a number of groups to guide its work and to ensure that there is continued involvement of members of the University in its work as designs and plans for a Phase 1 are taken forward.

Retrospectivity concerning the LL.M. Degree: Notice