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Construction Starts on 1,200 New Student Rooms on University Campus

Published on: 1 Dec, 2016
Updated on: 1 Dec, 2016
Artists impression of the new student accommodation being built at Manor Park

An artist impression of the new student accommodation being built at Manor Park

Construction work has started for the next 1,200 student bedrooms on the University of Surrey’s Manor Park campus. The first 500 rooms are expected to open by September 2018 with the remainder a year later.

A £75million investment is being made by the university into developing this second phase of the Manor Park student village.

A university press statement says that the: “… high quality design and specification of the new accommodation has been shaped through consultation with local residents who were looking to see natural slate effect roofing and brick façade treatment on these buildings.”

Including this investment, the university will have spent over £150million on student residences on Manor Park since 2005.

The new rooms will bring the total student accommodation on Manor Park to a little over 3,000 units. A third phase of the student village is now being planned for delivery post 2019 to take the Manor Park campus to its full student residential outline planning permission of a little over 4,000.

David Sharkey, chief operating officer at the University of Surrey, said: “Our students are badly affected by the lack of reasonable quality, affordable accommodation in the town.  We are therefore particularly pleased to make this further investment in new student accommodation, and are looking forward both to welcoming the first students into that accommodation in September 2018 and to completing the further phases.”

Cllr Tony Phillips

Cllr Tony Phillips

Cllr Tony Phillips (Lib Dem) whose Onslow ward includes the university campus, said: “Both Cllr David Goodwin (also Lib Dem, Onslow) and I are pleased that the University of Surrey is, at last, starting to build the next phase of student accommodation for which they have been given planning permission by Guildford Borough Council. With an expanding student population everything that can be done to relieve the pressure on Guildford housing the better.

“Of course the university and its students are welcome in Guildford, they do contribute very significantly to our local economy, but we cannot ignore the shortage of affordable housing in Guildford for local residents.”

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Responses to Construction Starts on 1,200 New Student Rooms on University Campus

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    December 2, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Excellent news. I presume they have checked that there will be enough water supply and that there is enough capacity in the sewers?

  2. George Dokimakis Reply

    December 2, 2016 at 9:55 am

    This is long-awaited development and it is great to read it is finally going ahead.

    It is sad though to see Cllr Phillips implying that somehow students are responsible for the shortage of affordable housing.

    Students are contributing massively to our local economy. They are not at fault for the lack of affordable housing, the council is. As a sitting councillor for the last 33 years, Cllr Phillips knows better than most why the GBC has failed to build adequate affordable accommodation for decades, including the time his party was leading the council.

    George Dokimakis is the secretary of Guildford Labour.

  3. K White Reply

    December 2, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I think Mr Sharkey will find that the permanent residents of Guildford are “badly affected by the lack of reasonable quality, affordable accommodation in the town”.

    Why will it take two to three years before any of the accommodation will be available? Surely some could be completed before the next academic year?

    This new accommodation must not be used as a reason for the university to increase future student numbers and negate any housing benefit to the town.

  4. Gina Redpath Reply

    December 2, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Good news but only a drop in the ocean. The university will profit from this investment in no time at all.

    Mr Sharkey complains that students are “badly affected by the lack of reasonable quality, affordable accommodation in the town”. Sounds familiar?

    Before it offers any more new courses this successful, profit making university should take the lead, ensure it can accommodate every one of its students and give Guildford back its homes.

    We would all be happy then.

  5. Neville Bryan Reply

    December 2, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    After the excitement calms down, a reality check is needed.

    The University of surrey promised 4,800 rooms and 300 houses, and they promised them by 2011 on the basis of a 12,500 full time student population.

    They currently have somewhere over 14,000 students, and want to grow first to 17,000 students, then 20,000 according to the local plan Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) – Appendix C.

    While it is true the outline permission will nearly be built out by this construction proposal, it is not going to meet the need as promised in 2003, now in 2016, or when completed in 2019 because the university has grown far more than it said it would when the original agreement and planning permission was made.

    Good news, yes, but far too little, and far too late. Many more needed on Manor Park expected by residents, and I hope students too.

  6. Bernard Parke Reply

    December 2, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    I am sure that I am not alone in saying that it is unfair to accuse Cllr Phillips of implying that students are responsible for the shortage of housing in Guildford.

    It is not the students who are responsible, but the speculative landlords who are pricing out the first-time buyers from the housing market.

  7. Brian Holt Reply

    December 2, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    In reply to George Dokimakis, who says students are not the blame for shortage of houses, no they are not to blame but they are living in houses that were built by the council for tenants.

    In 1919-1920 the council built 83 houses in Shepherds Hill; today only half are still council houses, because people bought their council houses and have sold them. Three houses near me are owed by a landlord living in Spain with students in all three.

    When you see them come out it makes you wonder how many are living in there.

    Why have the university been so slow building student accommodation on the campus?

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