Harwell: Major science buildings get green light from planners

Carter Jonas, the national property consultancy, has secured planning permission for two large science buildings of national importance totalling over 160,000 sq ft at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire on behalf of the Science and Technology Facilities Council and MACE.

The first building will provide a new 44,885 sq ft research and development facility for the newly established Rosalind Franklin Institute, a government-funded initiative to create a national centre for interdisciplinary science. The Institute is dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology development. It draws its name from pioneering X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin, who played a prominent role in the discovery of the structure of DNA by utilising a technique with roots in physics and technology.

At the same time, Carter Jonas secured approval for the new National Satellite Test Facility in response to the UK Space Agency’s need for a central facility in the UK. The 115,141 sq ft building will provide a world class set of co-located amenities for the assembly, integration and testing of space payloads and satellites. It will enable British companies to develop the next generation of launch technologies and testing capabilities to allow the UK to construct satellites and deliver payloads into orbit.

Nicky Brock, partner, Carter Jonas, said: “It is an honour to have secured two consents on behalf of the Science and Technology Facilities Council at the UK home for innovation Harwell Campus, which is the first step to delivering these two new facilities of national importance. The Rosalind Franklin Institute will follow in the spirit of its namesake by developing unique new techniques and tools and applying them for the first time to biological problems. Meanwhile access to co-located world-class facilities at the National Satellite Test Facility will enable British industry to bid competitively for more national and international satellite contracts, ensuring the UK remains a world-leader in space technologies for decades to come.”

Harwell Campus is well-established as one of the leading science and innovation hubs in Europe. It occupies 710 acres south of Oxford and boasts both space and healthtech clusters.