Writtle College £30m redesign is approved

A £30m redevelopment of the Writtle College campus to create high-tech teaching facilities has been approved after three years of planning.

Chelmsford Borough Council approved the scheme last month, although concerns were raised by a minority of councillors that the new layout will create traffic problems.

A number of existing, "outdated" buildings will be demolished and new facilities constructed closer to the campus centre in Lordship Road, Writtle, Essex.

A new main teaching building will be built, shaped like two separate halves of a ring doughnut, behind a reception area, which will appear as though embedded into the turfed landscape.

Buildings being put up close to a 15th-century timber barn at King John's Palace will be made of similar materials, aiming to "complement the landmark", said a Writtle College representative.

An animal-care building, workshops, machinery store and caretaker housing will also be built on the west of Lordship Road. Concerns were raised at the council meeting that placing a sports hall facility on the other side of Lordship Road was dangerous for students crossing the busy road.

A representative for Writtle College said: "The new campus is required to secure a sustainable long-term future for the college, which is one of the main employers in the borough and which contributes significantly to the local economy. The objective of upgrading existing facilities is to continue to attract students and to zone the campus to better meet the differing needs of higher education and further education students."

The scheme is still subject to the college receiving funding from the Learning & Skills Council.

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