Entrepreneur's plans for centre in Cambridgeshire on hold because councillors object to greenfield site

Plans for a £20m technology centre in Cambridgeshire have been rejected because it is on greenfield land, according to reports.

Multi-millionaire Edward Atkin had wanted to build a facility for a ‘business incubator’ close to Cambridge to help eight or so technology start-ups that are working in areas such as ‘green’ technology.

But the Cambridgeshire district council rejected plans to build an initial £1m marketing and engineering centre saying the plans were inappropriate for a rural area.

Atkin said: “The Prime Minister and Lord Mandelson are continually reminding us that Britain’s future lies in supporting new technologies. I am trying to play my part in helping this effort.”

The venture would have been unusual because most science or technology parks are backed by public bodies or large companies rather than individuals.

Atkin made £225m from selling his baby bottle company Avent to a venture capital group.

He had planned to take an equity stake in each of the start-up businesses at the planned facility.