Nov 8 2012 by Rob Pattinson, Ormskirk Advertiser
EDGE Hill University has applied to build 273 more units of student accommodation on campus.
University bosses have submitted two planning applications to West Lancs council for new phases of development on its St Helens Road site.
The first, phase six, would see five three-storey blocks created on the eastern part of the campus to house 129 students, as well as a new lake with footbridge and landscaping. The site currently houses an outdoor football pitch. Earlier this year the university built 384 new units in the eastern part of the campus, just north of the current application site, after being granted permission for the expansion in February.
The second application, phase seven, would see two three-storey blocks with 144 units built in the central area of the campus close to St Helens Road. The 0.5 hectare site is currently occupied by the Department of Geography building, which the university says does not meet current teaching needs.
As it stands the university campus provides 1,431 units of accommodation but has a shortfall of 572 to meet its existing first year demand, leading to some students being housed in the Unite Student Village in Liverpool, others in rented accommodation in Ormskirk town centre and a third category on a waiting list who commute from home.
It says the current costs to the university of the temporary measures of accommodation is more than £80,000 per academic term and presents a “wholly unacceptable” situation in terms of the university experience for students. The proposals would reduce the shortfall to 273.
An Edge Hill spokesperson said: “The application for additional bedrooms on campus is, in accordance with the published estates strategy, part of the university's commitment to lessen the pressure on the housing market in Ormskirk by accommodating an increasing percentage of students on site. “We believe that this has significant benefits for all concerned: the local community and the potential release of affordable housing; the university and the development of a sector-leading campus; and, the fee-paying students who will benefit from an outstanding living and learning experience.”