• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

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University and Council invite comments on estates projects

Durham University and Durham County Council are holding a joint public consultation event on three estate projects proposed for Durham City.

The University is inviting staff, students, residents and businesses to view and comment on proposals for a new Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science building, and an Infrastructure project designed to improve pedestrian and movement for road users around both the University and the City.

The event will also give people the chance to have their say on the Council’s plans to widen footpaths and make changes along Church Street.

Details of all three projects will be announced at a joint public consultation event to be held on Thursday 26 April. 

The University’s ten-year Strategy includes ambitious proposals to deliver world-leading research, education and wider student experience. The Strategy envisages growth in key departments and expanding student numbers to a maximum of 21,500 by 2027.

Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science are both departments identified for significant growth. To help facilitate this, the University is proposing a new building, within its existing site at Upper Mountjoy.

The designs include optimum space for teaching and staff offices and an entrepreneurial hub, meeting another key objective within the University Strategy – that of facilitating student enterprise and links with local business.

The University is aware of pressure on pedestrian and vehicular traffic around its sites, and the safety of its staff, students, visitors and the general public is a top priority.

To facilitate improved flow, the University is proposing a new pedestrian route to the east of South Road, between the Mount Oswald site and the New Inn junction; a second vehicular entrance to the Mountjoy site via Hollingside Lane; and a new car park at Upper Mountjoy, which will cancel any loss of existing parking spaces at other University sites under consideration for development. 

The Council’s proposals involve widening the footpath on Church Street, to three metres in places, by reducing the width of the road. There would also be changes to parking on the street, the relocation of a bus stop and some changes to the Boyd Street junction.

Details of planned improvements to the New Inn junction will also be on show.

Jane Robinson, Chief Operating Officer at Durham University, said: “These new developments are both exciting and necessary to support our growth and continued success.

“It is important to us that the new Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science building is designed around the needs of staff and students and allows both of these departments to continue to thrive and grow, while we expect the Infrastructure project to improve movement around the City for pedestrians and road users alike.

“We very much hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to visit our public exhibition and make comments via our website.”

Dave Wafer, the Council’s strategic traffic manager, said: “The footpath on Church Street is very narrow and given the sheer number of pedestrians who use it, we have come up with these proposals which would see it widened.

“We would encourage people to come along and find out more about what we are looking to do and we look forward to holding further consultation with local residents in due course.”

The public exhibition will be held at the Palatine Centre, Durham University, Stockton Road, Durham City, DH1 3LE, on Thursday 26 April, from 12pm to 7pm. All are welcome. Representatives will be available to answer questions.

The information on the University projects and a further opportunity to comment on the plans will be available online atwww.durham.ac.uk/estates-developments from Thursday 26 April.

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