Protests force Imperial to ditch Kent expansion

Imperial College London has abandoned plans for a £1 billion expansion of its Wye campus in Kent after sustained local protests.

It had planned a massive development, including a science park supporting 12,500 jobs and 4,000 new homes, and had signed a concordat with Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council in 2005. But the scheme ran into opposition when it was revealed it would involve building on the Kent Downs, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty.

Leszek Borysiewicz, deputy rector of Imperial, said: "We have concluded that none of the scenarios for the vision would represent a wise, viable or desirable investment of public funds for Imperial and Wye. We have no current plans to expand research and development at Wye, and we will not be instigating a search for a replacement to the vision project."

Imperial merged with the former agricultural college in 2000. It has since closed the department of agricultural sciences there, leaving a joint applied business management programme with Kent University the only remaining undergraduate degree.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Featured Jobs

Head of Research Support Services UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER
Learning Enhancement Manager UNIVERSITY OF DERBY

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Universities to scale back liberal arts and social science courses

  • David Humphries illustration (24 September 2015)

A Russell Group tagline rap is further proof that we need to reform the academy’s approach, argues Philip Moriarty

  • World University Rankings

US continues to lose its grip as institutions in Europe up their game

  • World University Rankings 2015-2016 methodology

Change for the better: fuelled by more comprehensive data, the 2015-2016 rankings probe deeper than ever

Inspired by previous movement in 1960s, PhD students say that ‘science is not neutral’ and urge scientists to confront their assumptions