Let there be life: new building gets go-ahead
Sussex University has been granted planning permission for a new Life Sciences building to become the campus’ second-largest building, only surpassed by the Library.
The new Life Sciences building will consist of five storeys covering 17,000 square metres replacing the Science Car Park to the east of Sussex campus. Planning permission requests reveal that 400 parking spaces will be lost to the development but 88 new cycle spaces are to be added and 9 new disability parking spaces.
Planning permission for the new Life Sciences building includes refurbishment of the Genome Centre.
A statement released by the university said: “The plans, will transform the way scientists carry out research and provide students with a high-tech learning experience”.
The new development will include “collaborative spaces for staff and students to work in” which the university explains will encourage “molecular biologists, zoologists, neuroscientists, pharmacologists and chemists to carry out research alongside each other to develop new scientific insight”.
Professor Laurence Pearl, Head of the School of Life Sciences, said: “Our new state-of-the-art building will ensure that we can continue to produce innovative, world-leading research for decades.
“Our School produces amazing scientists, including Nobel Prize winners, and continues to attract the very best researchers from all over the world to Brighton.
“The new building will enable our diverse teams of scientists to work more collaboratively alongside each other to make life-changing scientific discoveries”.
Duncan Michie, a second year Chemistry student, told The Badger: “I hope that the staff are the ones leading the project because it’s them that make Life Sciences such an amazing part of Sussex. Chemistry already has an open door policy, I’m not sure whether this new space will improve research but it sure will be interesting to see if it does”.
Life Sciences is one of the biggest Schools at Sussex and all of its courses are ranked in the top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016. Top scientists, including Nobel Prize-winner and director of the Crick Institute Professor Sir Paul Nurse, backed the plans.
The new Bio-innovation Centre, part of the development, has received £5.5 million in funding from the Government’s Growth Fund. The entire development is expected to create around 600 new jobs across Brighton, Hove and the region as well as boosting Sussex’s Life Sciences research.
Planning permission documents reveal that English Heritage raised some concerns about the height of the new building, carried out by Hawkins Brown Architects. “We do not object in principle to the altered configuration of the Life Sciences building as now proposed… Our only outstanding concern is with the roof top plant screen, which adds some considerable height to the new building.
However, the roof screens are a feature of the architects’ attempt to make this as green a building as possible, and the architects have taken Sir Spence’s original masterplan into consideration. The University said: “the new development will be built to the highest environmental standards, with some green roofs to reflect its South Downs surroundings. The plans include four open courtyard spaces and an ‘internal street’, in nods to Spence’s original designs for the University”.