Two planning applications have been submitted for the conversion of buildings to house staff moving from the Nuffield building in St Michael’s Road, including the use of a 10-storey halls of residence.
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‘The renewal of the university’s buildings and facilities is essential in order to provide modern buildings and facilities for our students and our teaching, learning and research activities,’ a University of Portsmouth spokesman said.
‘The demolition of the Nuffield building to create a vacant site for a new academic building is part of the university’s estate masterplan.’
The first application seeks permission from the city council for the change of use of one of the 116-student capacity blocks at Bateson Hall while the second involves the use of part of St Paul’s Road sports center.
Bateson Hall is earmarked as the new base for the department of curriculum and quality enhancement (“DCQE”), the student wellbeing service, the support and disability advice center, Academic Skills Unit and its occupational health team.
Although these would only take up the first three floors of the building, it cannot be used for staff and as student accommodation because it only has one entrance.
A planning statement submitted on behalf of the university said it had no concerns about the loss of student accommodation due to the ‘recent growth’ in provision.
It said there were now more than 7,000 dedicated bed spaces available in the city without including private housing such as HMOs.
‘The proposed change of use has been considered very carefully by the university as part of the overall management of its estate,’ the statement adds. ‘This is to ensure that the university is making best use of its existing buildings and resources whilst ensuring there is no unintended consequence for the overall supply of accommodation for students.’
No details of plans for the upper floors of the block have been provided.
The St Paul’s Road Sports Hall will house the university’s prayer and chaplaincy service with space created following the opening of Ravelin Sports Center.