University move location of conference centre after environmental concerns
The University of Kent have moved the location of a planned hotel and conference centre from Chaucer Hills to a location closer to Turing College following "recent advice and recommendations from external consultants"
Following on from the final round of public consultations in October, the university will be submitting the final masterplan to Canterbury City Council by 2019 for endorsement.
In a statement to the University, Vice-Chancellor Karen Cox said:
"I would like to thank all those who engaged with the Masterplan process, including local residents, staff, students and Kent Union, and for the informed discussions which have been held with the Masterplan team over the last eighteen months.
"The aim of the Masterplan is to provide a framework which will help us make decisions on the future development of the Canterbury campus in the short, medium and long term. The proposed location for the potential development of a hotel-conference centre is just one of the many elements it contains."
Reacting to the development, Kent Union VP for Activites, Sasha Langeveldt, said on Facebook:
"Thank you to all the students who put time into helping this cause, the Masterplan will no longer be built Chaucer Fields. Rather it will be built close to Turing College. I would like to also thank our Environmental officer Tifanny Tours for all the hard work they have done!!"
In the last round of public consultations on the project, protestors put up signs objecting to the environmental impact the project could potentially have on Chaucer Hills.
A petition to stop the university building on Chaucer Hills set up after the consultations has currently reached over 3,300 signatures.
Despite the reloctation of the project, the creator of the petition, Lucy Scott, disagreed that the complex should be built elsewhere on campus.
"I don’t think it is beneficiary to have this hotel anywhere else on campus due to it still being a complete loss of greenspace.
"We benefit from having a green campus which is a pride point of the University of Kent. An alternative can be done by creating smaller developments nearer to existing student accommodation if the development is completely necessary."