Burnley College given go ahead for £12.5M expansion plan

MP Antony Higginbotham has hailed news that Burnley College has been given the green light for a £12.5M expansion as 'an exciting development for Burnley- one which will secure the borough’s status as a centre of excellence for low carbon training and technology development for years to come.'

By Susan Plunkett
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 4:15 pm

But protestors, who have campaigned to stop the expansion from going ahead on what they describe as 'cherished' green space that has been used for generations, have vowed to appeal against the decision, made last night at Burnley Council's development control committee.

Kellty Decruz, a spokesman for 'Save Clifton Street and Stoneyholme Rec' group said: "This is not the end of the road and we will appeal against this decision.

"We are not against the idea of expanding Burnley College but we don't believe it should be at the cost of much used and valued green space."

Sign up to our daily Burnley Express Today newsletter

Burnley College has received planning permission for a £12.5M expansion to its campus

Councillors voted 10 to two in favour of the expansion to the college's Princess Way campus that will see a new 20,450 square foot industrial hub and three educational buildings on six acres of land along the River Calder.

the car park which, once complete will open up yet more opportunities for young people across the borough.

Mr Higginbotham said: "As always, Burnley College is leading the way nationally gathering the expertise and creating unrivalled facilities which will benefit businesses in a variety of sectors and create jobs.

Protestors pictured during a peaceful demonstration against Burnley College's expansion plans in the summer last year

"It’s a beacon for other colleges nationwide to follow.

"The campus development itself has been carefully designed to create a community asset and will provide an inspirational space to learn and embrace the future of low-carbon technology and advanced working practices”.

Working with ABW Architects and Smith and Love planning consultants, Burnley College has divided its

£12.5m expansion into two phases.

An artist's impression of how the expansion plan of Burnley College will look

Phase one, which the college hopes to complete by November, includes the industry hub, which would have a mixture of workshops and learning spaces. Phase two would see the creation of three educational buildings and a car park, which has led the college to designate the expansion site as the North Campus. That phase will also include replacing a bridge to provide access to the college from Holme Road.

The North Campus will aim to be a 'haven with buildings in soft landscape, where proximity to nature becomes part of the student experience at Burnley College,' according to the planning application.

The scheme also aims to preserve and increase the number of trees on its perimeter and to increase biodiversity through its landscaping plans.

Opponents to the development have argued that Vision Park, next to the college, would be better suited for the expansion as there is space there to accommodate it. And there is also a patch of land up for sale opposite the college that residents feel would be suitable for expansion.

In light of the objections alterations were made to the plans including adaptations to screen residents from the impact of the development. The application also includes new and improved facilities for use by the community that will include improvements made to the existing grass pitch to provide a seven a side pitch, a new floodlit and fenced multi-use games area with a tarmac surface an outdoor gym.

Residents were left crestfallen when Sport England, which initially objected to the proposal, withdrew its opposition after the plans for the seven a side pitch were put on the table along with a scheme for major refurbishment work to the pitches at Queens Park in the town.