A transformation strategy has been underway at the Farnborough College of Technology for a number years, but as development plans have moved on, a variation to the original planning permission was required.
In the previously approved planning permission, the development of ‘J Block’ had a condition that it would not be changed into teaching accommodation due to parking issues generated by an increase in students. The new plans, which tie in with the College’s transformation strategy, see the block being changed from a library into an ‘Emerging Technologies Centre’ which would create a number of new classrooms and an open teaching space.
The College anticipates that these changes would enable more students to attend the college and therefore the current parking provision may not be adequate. However, they are confident that they have been, and continue to, invest in online and off-site learning opportunities – for example apprenticeship schemes. This strategy combined with a new travel plan for students attending the college would counteract the need for a increased parking provision.
Having supported the College for a number of years, Director Emily Temple from ET Planning submitted a Section 73 Variation Application on behalf of the client to Rushmoor Borough Council, along with an independent transport and monitoring report.
This valuable report shows that since 2014 there has been a 10% increase in students using public transport to get to the college. This shows that there is an appetite for a travel plan to be successful, rather than needing to create more parking provision. However, the report also noted that the staff parking provision at the college site was sufficiently underused and a section of the staff parking could be reallocated for student use if required.
Director Emily Temple said, “It has been great to work with the College and see their transformation plans come through to fruition.
“Through this Section 73 Variation Application we have been able to demonstrate to the Council what the potential impacts of this change could be, and how they would be mitigated.
“Having these agreed plans in place, helps the college to continue to grow, develop and emerge as a technologically advanced college offering inspired learning in the heart of Rushmoor.”
The Council granted this variation by delegated decision and supported the new travel plan that the College would put in place to control the student travel to the site.
A December 2019 update also saw the delegated approval of a planning application for the re-roofing of a number of existing blocks at the college, as part of the ongoing update and refurbishment works.