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Last Updated: Friday, 25 May 2007, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
York can build new 500m campus
University of York building
A new campus costing 500m will be built at Heslington
A 500m development of a controversial new campus for the University of York has been given the go-ahead by the government minister Ruth Kelly.

City councillors had previously granted an application for the scheme on land to the east of Heslington, in a bid to increase student intake by a third.

Hundreds of residents had objected to the proposal, citing possible impacts on roads, crime, noise and pollution.

The 117 hectare (289 acre) plan includes academic and sports halls.

A public inquiry into the scheme got under way in April last year.

York is the sixth smallest university campus in England and says it needs to expand to maintain its position as one of the country's most respected.

Professor Brian Cantor, the University's Vice-Chancellor, said: "York is one of the best universities in Britain and it needs to grow in order to maintain this position.

"We welcome the decision, particularly as it will enable the university to play an important role in the future prosperity of York and the UK as a whole."

St Paul's Church, Heslington
Villagers fear Heslington's rural atmosphere will be under threat

The leader of the City of York Council Steve Galloway said: "This is an historic announcement for the city.

"Knowledge, technology, finance and professional services will be the foundations of the City's future economy prosperity and the University expansion is an essential cornerstone of that strategy."

But the development has been greeted with dismay by Green campaigners.

Former Green Party councillor Mark Hill said: "South east York is set for maximum sprawl. Heslington will be surrounded on both sides by major developments.

"Life will be hell in the village for the next few years of intense construction, and afterwards, half of the city will be suffering from massively increased traffic pressure."

The new campus, between Field Lane, the Low Lane A64 trunk road and Hull Road at Grimston, will enable the university to boost its student numbers from about 10,000 to 15,500.

It would also create up to 2,000 university jobs and a further 2,500 related research jobs across the city.

Public inquiry into campus plans
17 Apr 06 |  North Yorkshire
University campus plans approved
17 Mar 05 |  North Yorkshire
Council to vote on campus plans
16 Mar 05 |  North Yorkshire
Officials quizzed over new campus
09 Jun 04 |  North Yorkshire
University plans for 2,000 jobs
20 May 04 |  Education

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