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Plans to revamp Stourbridge college campus get go-ahead
10:21am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
PLANS to revamp the Stourbridge campus of the Birmingham Metropolitan College have been welcomed by Dudley planners.
College bosses got the go-ahead to extend the reception area on the Hagley Road site to create a “striking point of entry”, when the plan went before Dudley Council’s Development Control Committee yesterday (Tuesday).
The extension, which is part of a wider £15m transformation for the college over the next 10 years, will provide space for a new health and social care faculty. The current facility, which is housed within a single-storey building to the south of the site, will be demolished as it does not meet modern standards.
A previous plan to alter the college’s main entrance, submitted to the council last year, was met with fury from local residents, who claimed it would “look like an alien space ship has landed”.
The plan was later withdrawn by the college.
But there was less animosity towards the new plans, as only five letters of objection were received by the council, which stated that the design was not in keeping with the surrounding area and it would have a detrimental impact on heritage assets.
However the committee disagreed and had nothing but praise for the new design.
Cllr Keiran Casey said: “This application is very good, I’m really glad to see the investment.”
Committee chairman, cllr Qadar Zada, added: “This is a welcome facility. I am a former pupil of Stourbridge College and I would certainly have felt more excited about going to college if I had been walking through that entrance, albeit that shouldn’t be the only reason, but a grand entrance is always good.
“It’s fair to say Stourbridge College had some catching up to do with other facilities in the borough and beyond.”
The decision to approve the plan was unanimous.
Clive Hill, deputy principal at the college, said: “Birmingham Metropolitan College’s £5 million investment in new facilities for students and staff at the Hagley Road campus is exciting news for Stourbridge and we’re delighted to have secured planning permission for the project.
"It’s our aim to create a vibrant, exciting presence in Stourbridge by providing high quality teaching and learning facilities in the heart of the community and equipping students with the skills relevant to our local economic needs.”
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