University decision is just weeks away

A DECISION to give the go-ahead to Suffolk's first university is just a “matter of weeks away”, the Evening Star can today reveal. University Campus Suffolk (UCS) bosses are awaiting a decision by Ipswich Borough Council after submitting a planning application for phase one of the £150million development.

A DECISION to give the go-ahead to Suffolk's first university is just a “matter of weeks away”, the Evening Star can today reveal.

University Campus Suffolk (UCS) bosses are awaiting a decision by Ipswich Borough Council after submitting a planning application for phase one of the £150million development.

Applications were put forward to build a £20m seven storey flagship education building on Orwell Quay and the demolition of 130 Fore Street by UCS last month.

Construction is planned to start in February 2007 to be completed by autumn 2008.

Land has already been set aside for the project and UCS, plus a new Suffolk College, will create an 'education quarter' stretching from Rope Walk to the Ipswich Waterfront.

Richard Atkins, cabinet member with responsibility for economic development and planning, said the decision will be made by the council's planning committee.

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He said: “A decision will be made in a matter of weeks. I cannot discuss the details of the submission but the application has been made.

“It is now up to the planning committee that is made up of councillors from all parties. I can confirm the council's general view that it is delighted there is to be a university in Ipswich.”

Mr Atkins, who is unable to vote on the application himself, will be at the meeting that decides if the UCS gets the go-ahead.

He added: “There will be a debate by councillors on the application. Once the decision is taken it does not have to be ratified by Suffolk County Council.”

A partnership lead by the universities of East Anglia and Essex, the UCS project is supported by Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council and the East of England Development Agency.

What do you think of UCS? Do you want to study at the new university? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblinks www.suffolk.ac.uk

www.ucs.ac.uk

www.ipswich.gov.uk

Investigative work has already begun on the 1.4acre site.

The site has been used by industry since the 1780s.

The eight story curved shaped building will taper to three storeys at the back.

The roof material is expected to be sedge plant which will act as a sponge and reduce water run off as well as help control the temperature of the building.

The 30metre 10,500sqm building will also include “public space” for exhibitions and displays.

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