Plans for new FE college gathering pace

PLANS for a new state-of-the-art building for Suffolk College are being firmed up and are on track to be submitted to planners this month .Discussions are continuing between architects Sheppard Robson and planners at Ipswich Borough Council ahead of the final plans for a new College of Further Education being lodged.

PLANS for a new state-of-the-art building for Suffolk College are being firmed up and are on track to be submitted to planners this month .

Discussions are continuing between architects Sheppard Robson and planners at Ipswich Borough Council ahead of the final plans for a new College of Further Education being lodged.

And officials behind the project are also meeting local residents in a bid to ensure most of their concerns are tackled ahead of the planning application.

John Norman, director of campus and community development, said yesterday that the building, which will provide vocational educational opportunities for 16 to 19-year-olds, would be a public facility.


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Among its features it will boast a restaurant, hair and beauty facilities and performance space where students can learn skills for their chosen employment and offer services to local residents.

The last major part of the building to be decided on is its external appearance but Mr Norman said it would “almost certainly” be steel framed with some cladding to give shape and colour.

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Following work with the council, it has also been agreed that there will be a tree replacement policy to ensure the site remains attractive and open to staff, students and the general public.

There will be enhanced facilities, including the student-run restaurant, in the Education Quarter, which will stretch from Rope Walk to the waterfront, and key routes across the current campus will be retained.

The building will be of comparable height to St Edmund House and will now be set further back from Milner Street than the current buildings, including St Pauls and St Giles House. The immediate elevation to Rope Walk will be two storeys.

The plans for the Further Education building will be submitted separately from the proposals for the Higher Education structure, known as University Campus Suffolk. There will then be official consultations as part of the planning process.

Professor Dave Muller, Suffolk College principal, said: “This planning submission is part of a wider educational strategy to bring together a new College of Further Education and University Campus Suffolk.

“These linked projects will both require separate planning applications and approval conforming to a master plan, which has been drawn up in partnership with Ipswich Borough Council for the Education Quarter.”

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