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Plans revealed for student village in city

New development plans for UKC on display at St Stephen's Community Centre
New development plans for UKC on display at St Stephen's Community Centre

by Katie Alston


Controversial plans for a new student village on Chaucer Fields
in Canterbury went on display in St Stephen’s Community Centre
at the weekend.

The University of Kent is planning to transform Chaucer Fields, close to the new Canterbury Innovation Centre and Chaucer College into a £60 million hub for student accomodation.

They want to build:

  • Homes for 800 students with a mixture of flats and townhouses
  • A 150-room hotel
  • A conference centre with a lecture theatre for 200 people
  • About 200 parking spaces
  • Offices, laundry, shop and cafe

Residents have expressed concern about the development's impact
on the local area, particularly the added noise and need for

Father-of-two Phil Deery attended the exhibition and said he
feels there are other places where the university could build the

He said: “The university has a vast estate and there are a
number of other plots on their land that they could build, this
without infringing upon those of us who live next to Chaucer

“I’m not against students and I know they bring a lot to the city,
but in return the city gives a lot back, and this is not fair on

But the university stress the accommodation will help tackle the
problem of student houses and houses of multiple occupation in the
city. They also point out the development will be environmentally
friendly and will help meet the desperate need for hotel rooms.
They say the design, based on a village green idea, will minimise
any noise from students for people living in neighbouring streets,
such as Harkness Drive, because it will be built into the slope and
will be screened by trees and earth mounds.

Peter Czarnomski, UKC director of estates
Peter Czarnomski, UKC director of estates

UKC director of estates Peter Czarnomski said: “The university
is one of the city’s major employers and is proud to be a corporate
citizen of Canterbury and part of the community.

“The consultation isn’t just going through the motions and we
welcome fair and frank discussions with people."

The university plans to submit an application in spring and has
already briefed city councillors.

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