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New University of York scientific research base set for go-ahead
8:09am Thursday 4th October 2012 in News
PLANS for a new scientific research base at the University of York could get the go-ahead next week, despite concerns about its impact on a neighbouring village.
Under the scheme a two-storey building would be created on the university’s original Heslington West campus to house the Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Research Centre and up to 40 staff, working to meet “environmental challenges”.
But the Innovation Way scheme has been called in for debate by Heslington councillor David Levene because residents are worried it would encroach on the local conservation area, affect a footpath leading to Heslington Church and create noise.
City of York Council’s east area planning sub-committee will consider the plan next week and have been advised by officers to approve it. If it is approved, the centre would be built on land currently used as a car park for the physics department.
The planning application saysthe centre could be the first of its kind in the UK.
Research there would be partially funded by a grant from the Wolfson Foundation, a charity which supports studies in the fields of science, medicine, health and education. It would make “world-leading contributions” to studies into air quality and climate change.
Although Coun Levene has asked for the proposals to be discussed by a planning committee, a report by council development management officer Erik Matthews said only one objection had been received from a resident, who claimed the building was “shoehorned into a small site”, would affect the church footpath and wildlife, and would affect the “rural character” of nearby woodland. They also said the development of Heslington West was being done in “piecemeal” fashion and this was “eroding the character of Heslington”.
Mr Matthews’ report said the application was in line with the council’s planning policy for the university area, which excludes the campus from the Green Belt to allow it to be developed, and the design of the centre was “acceptable and appropriate” and would have “limited impact” on the area.
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