Last month, Pace Investments Ltd submitted a full planning application for a commercial scheme at 104 -112 Hills Road, Cambridge. Following over a year of public consultation with a variety of key stakeholders, the proposed development will deliver modern, green, flexible office space, restaurant and cafés, and the preservation of The Flying Pig Public House.

To facilitate the creation of the campus, the development will see the demolition of Betjeman House, Broadcasting House, Ortona House, Francis House, and the rear multi-story car park to Francis House.

In their place, two new energy efficient CAT-A office buildings will be constructed of five and seven storeys respectively. They will provide major new office space and shall be the first new build offices in Cambridge to meet BREEAM (2018) Outstanding accreditation. This would put them in the top 1% of all buildings in the UK.

The scheme will deliver a number of economic benefits including the creation of 4,000 construction jobs onsite and once built, over 1,800 new local jobs.

Currently, there is a shortage of Grade A high-quality office space within the city centre, and the provision will help meet growing demand from leading businesses to be located in the heart of the city. In addition, the provision of flexible office space will be available to start-up businesses ensuring Cambridge can retain and grow its emerging talent, especially vital as the city adjust to the effects of COVID-19.

An extensive area of new public realm and landscaping sits at the heart of the proposals. The landscaping strategy is founded on the concept of bringing the Botanic Garden to the street and welcoming the community to the heart of the campus.

The much-loved Flying Pig pub will be preserved and sit at the heart of the scheme. The pub will benefit from new back of house facilities, a new landscaped garden, and family accommodation.

The campus will mark the key intersection of Hills Road and Station Road as a gateway to Cambridge’s historic city core.

Commenting on the submission, Johnny Vincent, Pace Investments’ Managing Director said “This scheme offers something for everybody. Office space that provides a healthy, sustainable and future proofed design, a form of architecture that responds to Botanic House, that respects the Botanic Gardens, and creates spacious greened public realm along the Hills Road frontage.

“As we adjust to the effects COVID-19 has had on our society, we can generate a flow of social, economic and environmental benefits to Cambridge. This scheme achieves that. It also provides opportunities for new companies and start-ups to co-habit with established companies. We see this as a catalyst for the new generation of Cambridge based successes, the scheme at 104 -112 Hills Road captures the spirit of ‘Innovation and Invention’ which is very much part of the ethos of Cambridge”.

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