THE EVOLUTION of the University of Chichester’s campus is set to continue as plans are made for a new ‘arrival space’ for the university.
First revealed by the Observer last year, the new buildings include a new teaching area and student shop at the Bishop Otter Campus, in College Lane.
“The university is currently in the process of reviewing its current estate, an exercise that has highlighted a number of shortcomings in the quantity and quality of some of their accommodation,” said a design and access statement submitted by developer Willmott Dixon on behalf of the university.
“They are also acutely aware of changing student expectations (now that each student pays considerable tuition fees) and the need to improve the student experience.
“The university is proposing a number of enhancements to the existing campus that will improve facilities and delivery. The proposed academic building is the first of these projects.”
According to the application, the current general teaching was provided by a ‘range of outdated lecture theatres, classrooms and seminar spaces within the Grade-II listed University House.
“This building, opened in 1850 and extended in the 1890s, is not easily suited for modern teaching. It’s masonry construction and historical importance limits the scope for adaptation,” said the application.
The university is asking permission to demolish a building known as The Cottage – currently accommodating staff offices – and a garage block, to be replaced with the building pictured above.
It is also seeking to do ‘extensive landscaping works to create an enhanced arrival space’ at the main entrance to the campus off College Lane.
In addition, the university has also submitted a separate application to extend its current music block to provide additional teaching and music practice facilities.
Curently, music is taught in the former crafts building from the 1970s onwards.
“As student numbers have increased, additional accommodation for music practice – located away from other departments and residences for acoustic reasons – has been created in temporary/prefabricated units and the conversion of spaces within Oaklands Park House,” said the plan.
“This has led to a department distributed across the Bishop Otter Campus in spaces that do not physically and often functionally reflect the quality of delivery to which the department aspires.
“In addition to this, some of the accommodation only has temporary planning consent that is due to expire, necessitating their removal.”
The university said this spread made it harder to manage the department and so it was looking to extend the existing building, with a ‘range of new practice rooms, flexible teaching spaces and new office accommodation’.
The university is also planning an engineering and digital technology park at its Bognor Regis Campus.
All the new developments come hot on the heels of it receiving its RDAP last year (research degree awarding powers), giving it the ability to give out its own PhDs.
It has awarded PhDs since 1992, however in this time they have all been accredited by the University of Southampton.
To view the applications in full, visit the Chichester District Council website www.chichester.gov.uk and search for applications 15/00302/FUL and 15/00301/FUL