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Permission sought to build world-leading scientific research centre in Somers Town

PUBLISHED: 14:45 03 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:06 07 September 2010

RESIDENTS in Somers Town are gearing up to fight a controversial planning application to build a £500million scientific research centre behind the British Library. The UK centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) has submitted an application to

RESIDENTS in Somers Town are gearing up to fight a controversial planning application to build a £500million scientific research centre behind the British Library.

The UK centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) has submitted an application to Camden Council for permission to build a world-leading medical research institute which aims to reinforce London and the UK's position as a global centre of research.

But neighbouring residents say the location next to a mainline railway station is unsuitable for a science lab where experiments using biological materials will be carried out and fear the building could become a target for terrorists.

They also say the land is desperately needed for housing with thousands on the waiting list in Camden.

St Pancras and Somers Town councillor Roger Robinson said: "I have been fighting this since the beginning because it is an unsuitable site and the majority of us are really worried about having a medical research centre there."

UKCMRI will carry out research of the highest quality using the latest technology to advance understanding of human health and disease.

The chair of UKCMRI, Sir David Cooksey, said: "The proposed UKCMRI building has been carefully designed to meet future scientific demands and to respond to the architectural heritage of the area. In addition, we have modified the exterior, public areas and open spaces as a result of consultation."

The application is due to be heard before the end of the year and if approved construction will begin next year with completion in 2015.

For more see next week's Ham&High.


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