Plans revealed for £65m university building which sparked parking worries
PUBLISHED: 16:34 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:30 29 October 2019
Plans revealed for £65m new university building which sparked parking worries
Proposals for a new £65m teaching building at the University of East Anglia (UEA), which have sparked concerns over car parking, have been submitted to planners.
It is hoped the Sky House will be home to the university's arts and humanities schools and some social sciences from 2022 and will start to free up the 60-year-old, grade two-listed Lasdun Wall for refurbishment.
It will include teaching and seminar spaces, a language learning lab, drama studios and rehearsal spaces and will also act as a new reception point for the university.
But its construction will result in the loss of around 240 spaces from the main car park, which caused concern among people in the area that motorists would instead start parking on nearby residential streets.
Documents submitted with the planning application say there is enough capacity on campus to cope with the loss - but it advised regular users of the main car park "to re-think where they will park".
A UEA spokesman said there was spare car parking capacity of around 400 spaces elsewhere on campus for those choosing to drive, but reiterated the university's travel plan to lower the number of people driving to the site and encourage staff to use sustainable transport.
The spokesman said: "The university provides a free Park and Ride service at Costessey so there is no charge at all for staff to use that service and the we have also launched a new heavily-subsidised bus ticket with Konect Bus. This covers all of Konect's routes as well as the park and ride services.
"To further support those university staff working unsociable hours we have made provision for them to use the Triangle car park on the NRP [Norwich Research Park] campus for free."
A planning statement from Bidwells says the Sky House will be the largest building project undertaken by UEA since the main campus development in the 1960s and 70s.
It will be built to sustainable design principles, keeping energy use to a minimum, maximising natural light and using natural materials.
The project will also see the current security lodge demolished and a re-configuration of the road and bus stops on University Drive.
It follows the opening of another new teaching building at UEA, the New Science Building, by renowned scientist Dr Jane Goodall earlier this month.