Posted: Mon 7th Mar 2016

Consultation on future development of Caerleon University Campus

This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 7th, 2016

A public consultation is being launched to give residents in Caerleon the opportunity to influence proposals for the future use of the former Training College site which lies just to the north of the village, currently occupied by the University of South Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The University reviewed its campus estate in 2014, having inherited a trend since 2009 of falling numbers every year in students applying to study at its Caerleon and Newport City campuses. Following the review, the University’s Board of Governors announced their unanimous decision to concentrate the University’s future in the city centre of Newport in a two-phase, multi-million pound investment programme that is supported by key employer and business organisations as part of the City’s regeneration in developing a £60m Newport Knowledge Quarter. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

With the Caerleon site set to close to students in summer 2016, the University is now launching a public consultation to allow the local community, as well as politicians‎, businesses and community groups, to have their say on the future use of the site. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Governors ‎of the University have a legal obligation to ensure that best value is achieved for the sale of the site so that it can be reinvested in higher education, but the decision to progress an outline planning application, rather than press for an early sale, has created an opportunity for local people to have their say and influence the final proposals. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Through a three-day public exhibition and a dedicated consultation website, the ‎University will outline the various considerations informing potential development options for the ‎site, including the implications of retaining the original college building, sports facilities, and seek feedback from the local community. Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to speak directly with the University’s planning experts and other specialist advisers who will be closely involved with the subsequent planning application. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A spokesperson for the University said: “The decision to close the campus at Caerleon is one of the head not the heart: we know that many people have very fond ‎memories of working and studying in Caerleon. There are sound educational reasons for our decision, but we want to make this move with respect for the local community. This consultation gives people the opportunity to have their say about potential future uses of the site once it has been vacated by the University. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Funds from the sale of the site will be reinvested to enable us to take forward ‎projects such as the £60m Knowledge Quarter that we are progressing in partnership with Coleg Gwent in the heart of Newport. However, the University also wants to leave a positive legacy for the people of Caerleon and the public consultation is an important part of that process.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A three-day ‎public exhibition‎ will be held at the Newport HSOB Rugby Club on 17, 18 and 19 March. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

People will be also be able to ‎view the various development options for the site on a dedicated consultation‎ website, which will go live on the opening day of the exhibition and allow residents to submit their feedback for a further month after the exhibition closes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Feedback from the public consultation process will inform plans that will be ‎developed and submitted to Newport City Council as part of an outline planning application. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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