Planning consultation extended for University of Gloucestershire’s new City Campus

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The planning consultation has been extended for University of Gloucestershire’s new City Campus in Gloucester, with the plans now back available for viewing online.

A cyber incident that affected Gloucester City Council’s online services means that people have been unable to access their planning portal since just before Christmas. Access to planning applications is now available again and the public can access the full detail of the City Campus planning application here by clicking on the ‘Westgate’ link.

Comments about the planning application should be e-mailed to development.control@gloucester.gov.uk  Anyone who submitted comments via the online portal in the early stages of the consultation, is advised to re-submit their feedback in order for it to be considered as part of the Council’s consultation.

It is planned that phase one of City Campus will open in September 2023, and the extension of the planning consultation by Gloucester City Council is not set to impact the planning timescales. It is hoped that planning permission will be issued in Spring 2022.

You can watch a video briefing from University of Gloucestershire Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, about the plans, and find the latest project news on the University’s City Campus webpage.

The plans will see the former Debenhams building transformed into a modern centre for teaching, learning and community partnerships; playing a vital role in both the regeneration of the city centre and supporting the University’s ambitious plans for growth – both in student numbers and course portfolio.

Many of the University’s courses are crucial to the health, quality of life and economic success of the region, including Nursing and Education. The new city campus will provide facilities to train these professionals, providing new opportunities for the people who live in Gloucestershire, but also attracting new talent to come and study in the region.

The first staff and students – mainly from the School of Health and Social Care – are set to begin accessing teaching facilities from September 2023. The phase one plans include development of parts of the ground floor, lower ground floor and first floor of the building.

They include learning and practical teaching spaces equipped with the latest technology, a university library, Student Helpzones and a dedicated faith space. The Students’ Union has been involved in co-designing its headquarters on the ground floor, and on the lower ground floor, a large lecture theatre will also act as a conferencing and exhibition space.

Also in the first phase, a public access café will open with a frontage on King’s Square and the University is in discussions with Gloucestershire County Council about a new public library on the ground floor. New exhibition and enterprise spaces are set to follow in the second phase and the University is in discussions with partners about dual access spaces, including a potential health and wellbeing centre.

University of Gloucestershire Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, said: “Through regeneration and restoration, enabling the development of personal talents, creating more fulfilling lives, and complementing the ambitions of key local partners, we believe the University’s new City Campus will become an engine of growth and prosperity for many years to come.

“We’re pleased that the planning consultation has been extended to enable more people to share their views. We’re looking forward to unveiling new visuals, as well as hoardings on site, in the coming months, which will bring our plans to life for residents and visitors.”

A multi-disciplined design team led by ADP Architecture has worked closely with staff and students at the University to finalise the phase one plans. They will work with recently appointed contractor, the Morgan Sindall Group, to bring the University’s vision for the new campus to life. The project managers are Ridge and Partners LLP, who recently carried out a four-day survey on site using the latest Leica laser scanning technology and robotic instruments to create a detailed 3D model. You can see the video here.

The redevelopment of the adjacent King’s Square is now almost complete and work is well underway on The Forum – a private investment designed to attract specialised digital and technology companies and a thousand new jobs.

Together with the Forge Digital Hub, an innovation hub for cyber businesses which is part of The Forum, and the redevelopment of the 15th Century Fleece Hotel, the City Campus project is the centrepiece of Gloucester’s successful £20 million bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.