Wednesday 4 September 2013

Haviour Chen, President of SU and Councillor David Mackintosh with approved Waterside plans

Outline planning application for the University of Northampton’s new £330m Waterside campus on the Avon Nunn Mills site is to be submitted to Northampton Borough Council today (Wednesday 4 September).

This landmark development will secure the future of the University as a leading higher education institution offering a unique student experience.  With state-of-the-art teaching facilities and residential accommodation the University of Northampton will continue to attract students and prosper in what is becoming an increasingly competitive market.

As well as creating a university suitable for the future, the campus will help to regenerate the Waterside and town centre of Northampton.  The development will also bring a huge economic boost estimated at £825m and of that £270m will be retained locally benefiting the local community1.

The submission follows a pre-application public consultation held in June that saw strong public support for the move.  More than 65 per cent of respondents supported the Waterside campus proposal, more than 90 per cent felt that the relocation to Waterside will benefit Northampton town and more than 85 per cent thought the reputation of the University would be enhanced by moving closer to the town centre.

Professor Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northampton said: “We have ambitious plans to continue developing our offering to students, staff and our local community through the development of a new campus in the heart of Northampton. Our students are the entrepreneurs of the future, building our new campus within the Northampton Enterprise Zone will offer our students a unique opportunity to work with enterprising businesses during their studies, building their employability skills through work placements and internships.

“We are pleased our proposals have received strong support from the local community.  We have worked hard to create a campus development which will have great facilities for our students, staff and the community of Northampton.”

Other benefits from the relocation include:

  • Development of a new centrally located campus with access to town centre amenities
  • Greater ability to expand capacity going forward
  • Significant improvement in facilities, improving the student experience
  • Improved transport and accessibility – cycle and pedestrian links with the town centre and more feasible use of sustainable transport for students and staff
  • Enhanced opportunities for social enterprise and training and development with commercial partners
  • Relocation places the University in the heart of the community making it much accessible, central and visible to the local community
  • The potential for commercial development alongside the University Campus creating a vibrant and integrated education, leisure and commercial scheme at this wonderful Waterside location.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “This is one of the cornerstone developments for both the Waterside Enterprise Zone and Northampton town centre. This outline planning application is a major step forward for the project. If approved, it will pave the way for the University of Northampton to relocate to the heart of our business district.

“We believe it will help create research and development opportunities, making Northampton one of the most ambitious and progressive boroughs in the country. The application is now available for anyone to view through the planning pages on our website and we will bring it before the Planning Committee in due course.”

President of the Students’ Union Haviour Chen said: “The new Waterside Campus is a reflection of the University’s strong commitment to providing a student experience for the 21st century on a site that will see the University and the student community put quite literally into the heart of the town – becoming more central, more accessible and more visible to residents and visitors.  It’s an exciting proposal and one that the Students’ Union and all students at the University follow with great interest.”

Peter Mawson, Chief Executive of West Northamptonshire Development Corporation said: “The new University campus will support a bigger and better Northampton town centre. We have been working on the regeneration of this brownfield site for several years, and are delighted with the University’s vision for the area. Excitingly, it is just part of a wider plan for Northampton, which is already a hive of construction activity.”

This is an outline planning application, with details submitted that cover the uses proposed across the site, the amount of development and access points, together with an indication of the heights, widths and lengths of proposed buildings.  The application is accompanied by an environmental impact assessment as well as detailed plans for a new bridge.

Assuming the outline planning application is successful more detailed matters including layout, scale, appearance, access and landscaping will follow for later approval, after further public consultation has taken place.

1Locally grown, Unlocking business potential through regeneration, CBI, June 2013

Every pound spent on construction generates a wider economic return of £2.84 of which 90p in every pound spent is retained locally.

Get social with @uninorthants