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Update on the university’s estate development plans

Update on the university’s estate development plans

  • Date10 October 2022

Royal Holloway is continuing to develop its historic estate to provide a 21st-century campus that meets the needs of everyone studying and working at the university today and in the future.

Rusham Park.JPG

Artists Impression: View of the Rusham Park student village at night

Over the coming months and years, further development projects are currently underway or due to commence in 2023; these include the re-opening of the university’s Piggery Gate entrance, a new drone research facility, the refurbishment of the Chestnuts building and the development of Rusham Park student village.

Piggery Gate entrance re-opening to vehicles

Royal Holloway is preparing a planning application to re-open its Piggery Gate entrance to vehicles. This will provide access for students, staff and visitors to the university’s campus from the A30, Egham Hill.

Reopening Piggery Gate will ease traffic entering the campus via the current single main entrance and exit points at the top of the campus near the Founder’s Building.

The new proposed entrance and exit at Piggery Gate will only allow vehicles to turn left into and out of the campus to ensure they do not cross the carriage way of the A30.

The design of the entrance is being agreed with Surrey County Council Highways and the works are intended to commence in Spring 2023 for up to 10 weeks. A temporary traffic light system will be put in place to ease traffic congestion as part of the university’s effective traffic management plan.

The planning application will be available on Runnymede Borough Council’s (RBC) website for residents to comment once submitted to the council this Autumn.

New Omnidrome research facility

The university has submitted a planning application to Runnymede Borough Council for the construction of a new research facility to develop and test electric drones. The Omnidrome facility will provide a safe and noise-dampening environment in which electric drones can be flown, individuals trained, and students and visitors given hands on experience with cutting-edge technologies. It will be located on the Egham campus at the rear of car park 4.

This facility will provide a safe location in which research into formation flight and drone swarms can be conducted without disruption to the local community, and in compliance with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) guidelines.

The Omnidrome facility will support the university to create partnerships with the aerospace and automotive industry, as well as emergency services, particularly those involved in disaster relief and search and rescue. This facility will attract on-site collaborations, in turn providing students with more exposure to the professions they may well be entering upon completion of their degrees.

Installation of the facility is due to commence in Spring 2023 and will be completed within approximately three weeks.

A council decision is expected in November 2022.

Planning permission secured for Rusham Park student village

Outline planning permission has been secured from Runnymede Borough Council (in February 2022) for the principle of redeveloping the former Procter & Gamble research facility at Rusham Park in Egham as a new student village. The student village will form a critical part of the university’s plan to provide on campus affordable, high-quality living, social and amenity spaces for its student population.

Balfour Beatty’s UK Construction Services business will be responsible for the construction of the new 1,400 student study bedrooms at Rusham Park, which is expected to commence in 2023 once the design has been approved by the council. It is hoped that Rusham Park student village will be ready for occupation in summer 2026.

Refurbishment of Chestnuts building

The university’s Victorian Chestnuts building on Chestnuts Drive in Egham is currently undergoing internal and external refurbishment, with works to the façade of the building to start in early 2023.

The building will be used as a teaching facility for the university’s Department of Health Studies.

Refurbishment will include restoration of the Victorian façade with and environmentally sustainable enhancements with the use of sustainable timber cladding and the installation of air source heat pumps as an alternative to gas heating.

The internal work has already started with the external refurbishment works due to commence from October 2022 to spring 2023.

There will be minimal disruption to residents, as there will not be any external demolition and only light use of work vehicles.

The building is expected to re-open in autumn 2023 in time for a new cohort of students.

The glasshouses at Chestnuts building

Royal Holloway will be seeking planning permission to increase the number of glasshouses based on the land of the Chestnuts building in Chestnuts Drive in Egham.

There are currently two glasshouses which are used by the Department of Biological Sciences for plant research. The proposed planning permission would be for one extra glasshouse to be added as an extension to the existing development. The new glasshouse will be built on the existing land and residents will experience minimal disruption during the construction.

Residents will be able to comment on the planning application on the Runnymede Borough Council website once it has been submitted by the university in autumn 2022.

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