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Cambridge university expansion gets green light

Plans for the creation of the new North West Cambridge development by the University of Cambridge have been given the green light by local planners.

First proposed last August, the £1 billion project is set to include substantial landscaping of the area, with more than one-third of the 150-hectare site to be dedicated to green spaces.

The first phase of construction for the project is set to cost in the region of £280 million and will see the delivery of 530 new residential properties for qualifying staff and students, as well as 450 homes for sale through residential developers and up to 300 new properties for student accommodation.

Pro vice chancellor Jeremy Sanders welcomed the decision, stating: "The North West Cambridge development is a major part of the university's long term future.

"It will provide much of the residential and research accommodation that the university needs as it grows over the next 20 years."

The development will eventually include the provision of accommodation for more than 2,000 students, as well as more than one million sq ft of academic, research and commercial space.

It is expected the first phase of the scheme will be completed by 2015, with the remainder of the project set to be finished by 2023.

Roger Taylor, project director for the expansion works, said: "North West Cambridge is the largest development in the country to be built to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 and BREEAM Excellent for other uses."

The news follows last year's announcement that the University of Manchester is to undertake an ambitious £1 billion expansion programme of its own.

Its first phase is now underway, which includes the refurbishment of the university's library, as well as a larger Students' Union, new centres for law and business, a new engineering campus and a new medical school. 

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