Planning Permission Granted


St Edmund’s applied to Cambridge City Council to redevelop part of the College. At a City Council Planning Committee Meeting, on 7 June 2017 the application was supported unanimously by members.

Find out more about the plans.

Let the Master talk you through the plans.

The Master, Matthew Bullock, addressed the Planning Committee:

At 120 years old, St Edmund’s College is quite a young Cambridge college, but as a graduate and mature student college we have grown rapidly in the last 40 years on the back of the expansion of the University’s graduate student numbers. From around 100 students in 1980, we are now a medium-sized college with over 500 students.

The College has significant problems in terms of the amount and quality of the accommodation on its site, leading to continuous compromises in how we provide administration, teaching and research space and student accommodation. But our most critical problem is our common areas – space for dining and social activities and pastoral care.

These common areas date from a time when we had only 100 students and this lack of space is severely hampering the operation of the College.

The proposals being considered today will provide us with extended dining facilities, a multi-use hall and new College office and research spaces as well as the opportunity to provide 16 new student rooms in College.

The proposals will also allow us to refurbish and make better use of our existing buildings.

Our difficulties with student accommodation relate particularly to student families.

St Edmund’s is unusual amongst Cambridge Colleges in providing student family housing. There is little privacy for families and the quality of the accommodation is poor. Currently they are housed in a terrace of six small maisonettes right in the centre of the College site, surrounded and overlooked by college buildings.

The new units will be larger and have their own garden space. These will be in a location in College more suited to family life whilst ensuring they remain part of the College community.

The College is within a Conservation Area and we have one listed building, our chapel, which sits at the heart of the College. The scheme has been sensitively designed to respect our existing buildings and gardens. The removal of the terrace of maisonettes, which sits at an awkward angle to the chapel, will enable us to create a court and improve the setting of the chapel.

We have worked with your officers since the outset of the project both before and after submission of the application.

We have listened to comments from consultees and the Design and Conservation Panel and, as set out in your officer’s report, have made changes to the scheme to respond to all these.

Only one comment has been made by the public and that was in support of our proposals.

The scheme will mean the College can offer high quality accommodation for our students and staff and continue to thrive in the years to come.

The planning officers report provides a very comprehensive assessment of the scheme. I hope you share their view and are able to approve our proposals.

For more information contact Ms Edna Murphy, Bursar, St Edmund’s College Cambridge