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Falmouth Uni defends expansion plan amid storm of protest
7:00am Monday 28th January 2013 in Falmouth/Penryn
FALMOUTH University has defended its plans to build an extension at its Woodlane campus while residents and a former councillor have condemned Cornwall Council for approving the proposals.
The scheme to build a first floor extension and new foyer to the faculty of graphics was given the go ahead by the council’s central sub-area planning committee last week after case officer, Nigel Brabyn, recommended the plans for approval.
He claimed the scheme would not have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area and, subject to conditions, it would not have a detrimental impact on the amenities currently enjoyed by neighbouring properties.
The proposals provoked a storm of protest from people living around the campus when first revealed with many of them lodging their objections with the council.
The decision to approve the scheme was met with dismay last week with several people taking to the Packet website.
One reader calling themselves ucsweb said: “As usual the objectors who have to live with this are ignored. The uni always gets whatever it wants no matter the cost to Falmouth and Penryn.”
Poldark added: “I agree what the university wants, the university gets. The planning officers and inspectors seem to be on a mission to ignore the Falmouth residents concerns.”
Titanium posed the question: “Why not relocate the Art College up to Tremough, and have everything under one roof as it were? The land could then be used for housing.”
Former town councillor Charlie Choak called the decision to overrule the town council and local opposition a disgrace.
“This is one of the reasons I resigned,” he said. “There was massive opposition from people around it and Falmouth town council were unanimous in recommending it was refused, and then what happens, they get permission.
“What is the point in having a town council planning committee if they are just going to keep overruling it.”
It has been claimed the extension will bring benefits “for the university, the local area and for Cornwall.”
A spokesman for the university said: “The extension to our graphic design centre is not about growth, only 25 extra students will be recruited, but is improving existing space to create an International Centre of Excellence for graphic design here in Cornwall.
“We are proud to be a specialist university working in the creative industries, which is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the UK and in the global economy.
We believe Cornwall is fortunate to have the second largest creative industries hub in the UK after London.
“This proposal is designed to capitalise upon this by providing improved infrastructure to retain more of this graduate talent in Cornwall through the provision of better support for careers and graduate start-ups.
“We will work with local residents to minimise any impact on them of building works through the ‘considerate contractors’ scheme.”
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