Wales

Wrexham Glyndwr University defends housing plan

Campus 2025 learning gateway Image copyright Wrexham Glyndwr University
Image caption The university said its Campus 2025 transformation project was needed to stay competitive

Wrexham Glyndwr University has defended plans to sell off land for housing to help fund a £60m revamp.

It wants permission to build 70 homes on a sports field in Rhosnesni and 116 on grazing land at New Broughton.

There is opposition from residents of both communities, who claim schools and GP services would not be able to cope.

University bosses say the land is no longer needed, and its sale will help fund its Campus 2025 project to replace buildings which are up to 70 years old.

Much of the main campus on Mold Road in Wrexham will be demolished to make way for a new learning gateway and engineering building, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

A revamped arts school on Regent Street will have a 107-bed student accommodation block added, while student halls on the Plas Coch campus will be replaced by affordable apartments aimed at professionals, such as people employed by Wrexham Maelor Hospital or Berwyn prison.

Prof Maria Hinfelaar, the university's vice-chancellor, said: "We've had a few years where investment has been lagging behind [other universities], but now we have an opportunity to catch up and be ahead of the others.

"For Wrexham to thrive we need a thriving university, and we're here for the community."

A consultation on the new campus proposals which closed in July attracted more than 200 comments from members of the public.

In light of feedback about the Rhosnesni site, the university is looking at giving part of it to Wrexham council to keep for community use, possibly as a sports pitch.

University director of operations Lynda Powell said it had been expected to be the most controversial site as it was already surrounded by housing.

The planning applications will be considered by Wrexham council at a future date.

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