Royal Veterinary College eyes major revamp to Brookmans Park campus

PUBLISHED: 09:02 12 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:18 12 June 2018

Royal Veterinary College Student Village

Royal Veterinary College Student Village

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield Council officers have backed plans for major redevelopment of the Royal Veterinary College in Brookmans Park.

The college, which is the largest vet school in the English speaking world, wants to develop five key sites at its Hawkshead Lane base over the next 10 years.

Major changes include building new lecture rooms, laboratories and research space, as well as academic staff offices and break-out areas by 2021.

The college also wants to provide infrastructure and accommodation for an extra 150 students, build a new student union bar and lounges area in 2019, as well as long-term clinical space covering approximately 7,650sqm.

Councillors on the Development Planning Committee will decide whether to back the officers’ recommendation at a meeting this evening (Tuesday).

The Hawkshead campus was originally created as a field station to complement the main campus in Camden, but it has grown since the 1950s and is now where the veterinary medical and nursing students spend much of their time.

It currently houses clinical and research facilities, substantial administrative functions, and small animal hospitals to provide a clinical caseload for students.

The college said its Masterplan had been developed in response to the need for clarity for local stakeholders.

A council document said: “It seeks to provide a vision for the campus that enhances the green infrastructure, reflects its location in the Green Belt and improves the built environment.”

It also aims to “encourage connections and places of exchange whilst facilitating the removal of buildings that detract from the campus and are no longer fit for purpose”.

In the officers’ conclusion, they wrote: “The Masterplan represents a strategic approach to development which has been prepared in the context of the development of the new Local Plan and the proposed revision to the Major Developed Site boundary.

“It is intended that the principles and policies, contained in the emerging Local Plan, will guide the design of development and the content of future planning applications that will be submitted in the context of this Masterplan.”

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