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University to appeal against masterplan rejection

The University of Sussex intends to formally appeal against Brighton and Hove Council’s decision to reject its £500 million expansion plan.

The University’s blueprints to develop new accommodation and increase student capacity, dubbed the campus ‘masterplan’, was rejected by councillors in June over fears that it would create a “dense urban environment” and the potential negative impact the plan would have on the city’s housing stock.

It is expected that the University will lodge its appeal before Christmas.

The appeal will be overseen by the Planning inspectorate, a government agency tasked with reviewing public body planning appeals, before being taken to a public hearing at some point in spring 2015. A verdict on the appeal is expected to be announced in summer 2015.

Local Counsillors’ rejection of the University’s proposals put the University’s plan to expands it student capacity

by 4,600 students by 2018 in jeopardy, as they hoped that the redevelopment of East Slope would allow them to house 1,408 more student and the proposed West Slope site would accommodate 1,122 new students per year.

The University said in June that the rejection of their plans will be detrimental for the student intake targets for the next four years.

As well as plans to build 2,500 new student rooms of campus, the University masterplan also intended to develop new state-of-the-art academic and research facilities, create 2,400 new jobs to boost the local economy, and preserve the architecture of Sir Basil Spence, the primary architect of the University of Sussex campus.

Professor Michael Farthing, the University of Sussex’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “We need to modernise and expand our facilities if we are to continue to attract the best and brightest academics and students as well as provide jobs that benefit thousands of local families.

“The University of Sussex is currently ranked 14th in the UK and is in the top one per cent of universities in the world.

“This is a huge achievement, but we can’t take it for granted. Some of our facilities are more than 40 years old and we need to invest now to secure a bright future for the University and for Brighton.”

The University did not wish to make any additional comment on the issue. Brighton and Hove Council also said that it would not comment on an ongoing appeal.

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