The Wellcome Trust is locked in an increasingly bitter struggle with the local planning authority over its proposal to extend its Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire. Last week's public enquiry merely confirmed the deadlock, with the local authority still opposed to the extension.
Wellcome wants to provide space for small biotechnology companies to be close to the genome work taking place in the campus in order to commercialise research generated by the campus' three laboratories. But the local authority argues that the extension would go against government guidelines on the use of agricultural land and transport policy.
The unenviable task of resolving the dispute now rests with John Prescott, the deputy prime minister and environment secretary. His decision will be taken as an indication of the extent of the government's commitment to support knowledge-based business in the UK.