Masterplan update - outline planning application submitted to South Gloucestershire Council
Late last week UWE submitted its formal application for outline planning permission for development of the campus and other land at Frenchay in line with our overall masterplan vision. This follows on from the campus Concept Statement which was endorsed by the Council in December 2011.
This is an important milestone in enabling us to achieve our long term objectives to create an integrated and enhanced campus, fit for the 21st century and delivering an improved experience for both students and staff. We expect a decision by the Council on our application by March 2013. In the meantime we are pressing ahead with design work on several projects which will be submitted in due course for detailed planning permission under the umbrella of the outline application.
We intend to invest in both substantial refurbishment and new buildings to create high quality accommodation for academic, research, student and office requirements with £3 million earmarked for refurbishment this year alone. The main features are:
- new Students' Union building and a new refectory (developing the existing HP restaurant)
- a vibrant mix of new academic and student buildings
- a new landscaped "heart" of the campus will be developed with good, logical pathways and connections
- a predominantly pedestrian central core with traffic and car parking kept to the periphery of the site
- new and relocated transport hub to deliver visitors, staff and students into the heart of the campus
- improved entrances with enhanced routes through campus providing wider access to facilities
- an additional 1,200 high quality student study bedrooms in a mixture of town houses and flats
- improved landscaping to provide good utilisation of green space with recreation and relaxation spaces including ecological habitats
- the delivery of a stadium to support the development and provide an improved sporting offer for the University
- P Block and Felixstowe Court will be redeveloped.
In order to help fund the improvements, the outline application includes the potential for some commercial developments including a hotel (to strengthen both the UWE conference offer and the stadium development) and a restaurant/public house. Also if some land becomes surplus to university needs, then it may be disposed of.
The masterplan represents UWE’s currently identified requirements but should be flexible enough over the long term to accommodate future change. The full application is a detailed and complex document but we expect the Council to upload it onto their website in due course.
The long term goal of a consolidated campus remains. With the exit from St Matthias scheduled to be completed by 2015 at the latest, the longer term options for Glenside and Bower Ashton are still being considered and will be discussed at the Governors’ meeting in February.
John Rushforth, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Operations)