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Letter: Why Does The University Keep Building?

Published on: 8 Jan, 2014
Updated on: 10 Jan, 2014

Hogs Back LetterFrom Graham Richings

The University of Surrey seems intent on encouraging housing development on green belt land and on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the slopes of the Hog’s Back.  They seem to have an obsession with destroying green spaces.

They have recently fenced off and excavated what was a bowling green type space in their own grounds and some of the adjacent playing field area next to it for more building development.  They never stop developing within their own grounds to the detriment of green and pleasant spaces.

I have walked through their grounds daily for over ten years now and the development seems continuous.  I suppose one should accept that they can do what they want within their own boundaries but they should not be encouraging any building on land that is not within the university boundary.  They should leave our open spaces alone.  They are not a “for profit” organisation so why should they behave like this?

Additionally, our town is not enhanced by all of the student dwellings, with I estimate at least a £2 million loss to Guildford Borough Council because students pay no Council Tax.

Our national government will do nothing about that.  These taxes should be paid by the landlords who are effectively running a business.  Some live abroad.   Many of the houses on the roads adjacent to the university are run down and their frontages a disgrace. This, whilst, apparently, much student accommodation on campus it unused, up to 50%, perhaps?

If there was some policy to fill those spaces on campus then more houses would be available to purchase locally and less need to build on our open spaces.

The university authorities should do a lot more to improve the Guildford area and not try and spoil it.  As UKIP leader Niger Farage recently said “There is more to life than money”.

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test One Response to Letter: Why Does The University Keep Building?

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    January 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    It does seem to me that certain not for profit organisations are extremely well funded, in excess of what one would expect, to complete their allotted tasks, so their approach to certain projects does appear they are looking for surplus funding.

    Does anyone know the difference between ‘contingency funds’ ‘funding surplus’ and ‘profit’?

    I never did understand the difference! In Engineering terms they all mean ‘materials left over’. In financial terms I guess ‘money left over’ – means profit doesn’t it?

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