College Expansion Plans Finally Approved

Royal Holloway’s plans to expand the college over the next 16 years, to facilitate increased numbers of students, have finally been given the go-ahead by Runneymede Borough Council.

The plans which will see the University look to build new halls of residence in Englefield Green, and create improved access points to campus, were originally submitted in January of last year. However the so-called ‘Masterplan’ faced several hurdles before its approval earlier this month. Frustrated residents of Englefield Green, and certain councillors, raised concerns over the fact the College had not adequately researched the impact on local traffic nor planned to provide enough parking spaces for the predicted rise in student numbers.

The College forecast that the number of students attending Royal Holloway will increase from 9000 to 12000 by 2031, and hence expansion and improvement of college facilities is necessary for the University to compete with other major institutions. Having revised the plans several time, the College eventually managed to secure an approval of 12 votes to 2 via increasing the number of planned parking spaces to 300.

Deputy Principal, Professor Rob Kemp, commented that he ‘firmly believes that our proposals represent a significant, positive, sustainable and well considered long term investment for both the university’s future and the borough’s.’

Nevertheless, before any building work commences, the University is still required to submit a Construction Transport Management Plan to the council to ensure minimal disruption to the surrounding area whilst work in ongoing. Therefore further obstacles to the realisation of the ‘Masterplan’ may still lie ahead.