University of Hertfordshire given the go-ahead to build 21 new accommodation blocks

LONG-RUNNING plans to demolish and rebuild student blocks at the University of Hertfordshire were given the go-ahead last night.

Five buildings – Coales Hall, Broad Hall, Chapman Hall, Fern Hall and Butler Hall - at the College Lane site in Hatfield will be knocked down in phases starting this year.

Twenty-one new blocks will then be built in their place creating 2,511 new bedrooms – twice the amount currently available.

On top of that, 72 houses in Roberts Way will also be refurbished.

The decision was made at a planning meeting last night (Wednesday), where the unanimous decision was reached.

Councillor Steven Markiewiczs said: “The university has not always been the best neighbour – but that has not always been its fault.

“The accommodation was not fit for 21st century life and this [the new plans] is a way to pay back the local community by relieving parking pressure on the town.”

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It is also hoped that more students will now live on campus and not in the town.

He also praised the university for working with the council on plans, calling it ‘open and honest’.

Andrew May spoke on behalf of the applicant and said that they had been stunned by the show of support for the plans.

Building work will be begin later this year and last until 2016.