Doncaster UTC scheme gets green light from councillors on planning committee

Councillors have approved plans to build a University Technical College in Doncaster town centre.

By George Torr
Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 6:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 6:44 pm
An artist's impression of the UTC
An artist's impression of the UTC

The UTC, situated off College Road in Waterdale, will house over 700 students and is expected to open its doors in time for September 2020.

The development includes the erection of a five-storey main building, a ‘multi-use games area, landscaping and 20 parking spaces’.

Students attending the UTC will specialise in engineering and creative/digital technologies. The centre enables close working with major employers such as those on the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.

It’s understood a serious lobbying campaign from Doncaster Chamber of Commerce went into securing funding for the UTC.

The plot where the UTC will stand has been empty for five years and was formerly the home of Doncaster Council before the 12-storey structure was demolished.

Councillors were unanimous in their decision but some raised concerns around car parking and the design of the development.

Mexborough Coun Andy Pickering said: “This scheme supplies the absolute minimum for green credentials – it’s really disappointing and I think we’ve missed an opportunity here. We should be trying to lead the way in this regard.”

Labour Rossington & Bawtry Coun Mick Cooper added: “I’m confident that 20 car parking spaces is sufficient for this site and the location it’s in but I think this will be a problem in future when the nearby cinema development gets going.”

Around 450 secondary school pupils will be educated on site along with a further 300 post-16 learners. The UTC is set to join the Brighter Futures Learning Partnership Trust along with Hunger Hill School.

The new building wil provide community use for ‘sport, performance, exhibition, business events, start-up space, meetings and conferencing’, planning agents told councillors.

“The UTC’s specialisms have been focussed on an identified need in the City Region and in direct response to employer demand therefore helping to create social mobility for young people in Doncaster.

“This development chimes with Doncaster’s growing together initiative which seeks to ensure that all children, young people and adults are prepared for a life that is fulfilling.

“The proposal is considered in the context of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

“Officers have identified no adverse economic, environmental or social harm that would significantly or demonstrably outweigh the benefits identified when considered against the policies in the Framework taken as a whole.

“The proposal is compliant with the development plan and there are no material considerations which indicate the application should be refused."