WORK on Edge Hill University’s £55m development will begin in March after the controversial plans were given the go ahead by the Secretary of State.
University officials had a nervous wait to see if the multi-million pound project would be called in by top level inspectors.
But the Secretary of State decided against a further investigation into the proposals, meaning work can begin on the new sports and accommodation facilities.
The project includes plans for a £15m sports centre, new sports pitches and 384 en-suite student rooms.
Submitted through two separate bids both applications were passed by West Lancashire Borough Council’s planning committee last month after an intense three hour debate, with concerns including noise, lighting, traffic and the incursion into Green Belt highlighted by neighbours.
University vice chancellor Dr John Cater was delighted with the news, claiming it would bring jobs and investment to the area.
He said: "This is excellent news for the University and the community, creating over 200 construction and 50 permanent jobs at a time of economic recession, bringing over £55m of investment to the local area and providing international-class facilities for over 4,000 local users every week. Now that we have support from the Secretary of State, work can start on site immediately.
“The end result will see the creation of the eastern campus and will provide space for new student learning and living facilities for many years to come, making it a campus that truly matches, in both quality and scale, the very best in the United Kingdom.”
The university has also been boosted by a £1m loan from the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for the opening phase of its expansion.