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The University again welcomes the fact that the contribution it makes to the town, and the Borough, is acknowledged and confirms its commitment to working with the Borough Council to maximise the impact that its further expansion and growth can deliver in terms of wider economic and social benefits.
The University welcomes the opportunity to work with Colchester and Tendring Councils to work up proposals for the regeneration of East Colchester and the new University Garden Village. The University recognises that good public transport, pedestrian and cycle links are key to the success of the area, and in particular, wishes to see links to Colchester North Station improved.
The University also considers the existing road infrastructure on the east side of Colchester has to be improved, with a new link being needed to the A12 and A120. In this respect, the University considers that it is imperative that the promoters of the University Garden Village should, as a matter of priority, provide a direct link road (preferably to dual carriageway standard) between the A120 and the A133. Without this critical piece of new infrastructure, neither the University nor the Knowledge Gateway will achieve its full potential, and the success of the garden village proposal could be in jeopardy.
Whilst the University is committed to playing its part in the delivery of new infrastructure, commercial development on this side of Colchester is marginal and opportunities / ability to contribute to off-site improvements are limited.
Similarly, there is limited potential for the University's own developments, which are funded from the public purse, to make significant contributions.
The University considers that Policy EC1 (as with Policy EC2) should directly reference the East Transit Corridor proposals.
The University notes that discussions remain on-going with the Borough Council regarding the identification of Knowledge Gateway Zone 1 and University Expansion Zone 2. In particular, the University notes that the area identified for University expansion primarily lies within Tendring District and that Tendring has not included a similar allocation in its draft Local Plan (which has recently been out for public consultation).
Until these matters are resolved, the University can only give its guarded support to this part of the policy and has to submit a holding objection to the de-allocation of the area of land to the southwest of the Campus, which is allocated for University expansion in the current Local Plan.