University extravagance

The University has put in an application to multiply the signs at its entrances and to landscaping work.  You can see the application here
http://www.planning.colchester.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do;jsessionid=CE8F4CE9AAB76E39019E44C6457EB790?action=show&appType=Planning&appNumber=171936

The total cost shown is £394,886 about equal to the fees of 42 students for a year.  This does not include any maintenance costs for the clipped hedges it is proposing to introduce (if that is what the drawings are showing)

My own view is that the proposed landscaping will not be in keeping with the open nature of Wivenhoe Park, that 3 signs at the entrance is excessive and that the signs are excessively ugly.  The proposals also include having a strip of granite setts going across the road to mark the entrance.  Presumably this would require a road closure when laying them with consequent disruption to the bus service.

Does the University not have better things to spend its money on?





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Comments

  • The public are free to comment on the application, and should if they have concerns about any impact on safety as that junction has already seen accidents, or if they feel that what is proposed is out of keeping with the surroundings ... 
  • This is in nature of a PS to my original posting.  The application relates to signage and landscaping both at the Boundary Road entrance and off Clingoe Hill.  The estimated cost is, I hope, for both entrances.

    Nick T is quite right that the public can comment on the applications.  However saying this seems a waste of public money is not a valid planning objection.  I do not think there are any additional safety implications of the proposals as long as visibility is not affected.
  • How is it a waste of public money in any case? Universities are funded almost entirely by student fees, which are now paid by students (plus 4.6% interest).
  • edited August 2

    My own view is that the proposed landscaping will not be in keeping with the open nature of Wivenhoe Park, that 3 signs at the entrance is excessive and that the signs are excessively ugly. 

    They are absolutely fugly. What's with the rusty chicken wire structure look that they're planning to mount them on!
  • More pointless signage - just what the world needs.

  • How is it a waste of public money in any case? Universities are funded almost entirely by student fees, which are now paid by students (plus 4.6% interest).
    Across all  universities about a quarter of university income comes from direct government sources - about 10% of teaching expenditure and 66% of research income
  • The colour palette is very very nice

    Dark Grey 
    Pearl Copper 
    Grey Brown 

    I think they've got the bits cheap from the set of the industrial zone in the original Crystal Maze



  • If students can't already find the entrance to the University should they really be going there?  :|
  • Objection lodged, on aesthetic grounds ! This is what is being proposed.






  • NickT said:

     Wivenhoe Park is a listed historic park so proposals which would affect its setting would come under material planning considerations.  The last two bullet points would also seem relevant.
  • I guess then that "Hideously Ugly" will not count.
  • How is it a waste of public money in any case? Universities are funded almost entirely by student fees, which are now paid by students (plus 4.6% interest).
    Across all  universities about a quarter of university income comes from direct government sources - about 10% of teaching expenditure and 66% of research income

    Yes, but those slices of the pie have to be spent on teaching and research costs. The amount of direct public funding that would go into infrastructure costs is pretty much zero.
  • Objection lodged, on aesthetic grounds ! This is what is being proposed.





    I'm with @Savvy, definitely fugly!  :*
  • Looks a bit Stalag Essex. Keeping them in or keeping others out or both? 
  • Our University is almost unique in the country in having no front gate or door or elaborate signed entrance. I had hoped it would retain this character but these signs go some way to ruining it all.
  • Looking at the Historic England listing for Wivenhoe Park the corner of Boundary Road/Colchester Road where they want to put the signs seems to be part of the listed parkland (see map in site below).  I think it may be owned by Highways and not the University but it is difficult to tell from the application.

    https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1000371


  • I can envisage something much more natural and stoney/slatey if they really insist in sticking with the White on Battleship Grey
  • Looking at the Historic England listing for Wivenhoe Park the corner of Boundary Road/Colchester Road where they want to put the signs seems to be part of the listed parkland (see map in site below).  I think it may be owned by Highways and not the University but it is difficult to tell from the application.

    https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1000371



    Neither of the proposed sites, Colchester or Wivenhoe entrance, is actually on University land as can be seen on the Site Location Plan of the planning application.  But as you rightly point out the Wivenhoe entrance is within listed parkland. 

    The covering letter has the following: 

    "The proposals to enhance the Wivenhoe Entrance will have no appreciable impact upon an (sic) views into, out of or across the Park, its character, or any heritage interest."

    Can't see that these proposals will enhance anything (except student debt) but some of us will have to pass this on a daily basis.

    And it's fugly!
  • It would be helpful if those who object to these signs could put in an objection on the following site
    http://www.planning.colchester.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do;jsessionid=59C02D63865D92CD9676729581F6A82A?action=show&appType=Planning&appNumber=171936
    Grumbles on this Forum carry no weight in the planning decision.

    To date there are only 3 objections.


  • Numbers of objections, especially if they fall into being material planning grounds will carry more weight
  • I don't think it is surprising that the University wants to mark the two entrances to its campus with more prominent signage. The University has been growing in numbers and stature. I think it was 14 graduation ceremonies which were held recently in order to hand out degrees to nearly 5,000 graduates and post-graduates to people from over 140 countries who had attended this University. There were 6,682 guests who attended these ceremonies whilst others not able to attend were able to watch each ceremony live as they were streamed around the world.  Each ceremony, presuming they were all similar to the one I attended, was made a special occasion and a real celebration of achievement for each graduate. So to my mind, having better signage is needed. Part of the cost will also be for improvements at the Wivenhoe entrance of Boundary Road for cyclists getting from the Colchester Road Cycle Track onto the University campus safely given the number of cars as well as buses which use Boundary Road and then a new track to get to the University buildings.    
  • kstkst
    edited August 6
    "I don't think it is surprising that the University wants to mark the two entrances to its campus with more prominent signage. The University has been growing in numbers and stature. I think it was 14 graduation ceremonies which were held recently in order to hand out degrees to nearly 5,000 graduates and post-graduates to people from over 140 countries who had attended this University. There were 6,682 guests who attended these ceremonies "

    With that sort of numbers having no trouble in finding the Uni rather defeats the issue. 
  • Surely signage is about telling you that you have arrived somewhere, not how to get there.

    In any case, this 'University Extravagance' as the thread is called is actually more than about signage and includes safety features on Boundary Road and access improvements to the Campus for cyclists. 

  • I thought most drivers had satnavs these days. 

    The University has managed to grow in stature without putting repulsively ugly signs on listed parkland.

    Boundary Road is also a public footpath as far as the entrance to the track to the river. A pavement, or a passable grass verge, on the south side would be good.
  • kstkst
    edited August 6
    I think the new traffic lights on Clingoe Hill is enough to let you know you've arrived, from whichever direction youv'e come from.
    Safety ? Remove the excessive speed bumps and/or barrierss
  • There's one thing I find hard to understand about the proposed placement of the Wivenhoe entrance signs.
    It's mainly traffic coming from the A133 direction that would benefit from them so I'd think that putting two of them on the left at the entrance and angled towards that traffic would make more sense to help drivers get into the correct lane.

    Now I'll don my tin hat and say: I like the colours and the signs look ok to me but not where they are c currently proposed.
  • PeterH said:
    I don't think it is surprising that the University wants to mark the two entrances to its campus with more prominent signage. The University has been growing in numbers and stature. I think it was 14 graduation ceremonies which were held recently in order to hand out degrees to nearly 5,000 graduates and post-graduates to people from over 140 countries who had attended this University. There were 6,682 guests who attended these ceremonies whilst others not able to attend were able to watch each ceremony live as they were streamed around the world.  Each ceremony, presuming they were all similar to the one I attended, was made a special occasion and a real celebration of achievement for each graduate. So to my mind, having better signage is needed. Part of the cost will also be for improvements at the Wivenhoe entrance of Boundary Road for cyclists getting from the Colchester Road Cycle Track onto the University campus safely given the number of cars as well as buses which use Boundary Road and then a new track to get to the University buildings.    
    I don't see anything about improving cycle provision on the proposed drawings, am I missing something?
  • MikeP - At the Wivenhoe entrance on Boundary Road, cropped granite setts are proposed as a traffic calming measure to slow cars an buses down before reaching the junction to allow cyclists coming off the Cycle Track to safely cross Boundary Road and then continue on a new track towards the University buildings. These are shown on the drawing of the Wivenhoe entrance.

    Marika - I agree the signage might be better on the other side of Boundary Road but that is not land owned by the University.
  • PeterH said:
    Marika - I agree the signage might be better on the other side of Boundary Road but that is not land owned by the University.
    Agree with @Marika the proposed signage would make far more sense on the south side of Boundary Road, can't really see the point of having three on the northern side and who travelling from Wivenhoe needs reminding of where the University entrance is anyway.  Obviously any signage on the south side would interfere with the siting of the "Wivenhoe House" signage.  As I understand it the land on the south side of Boundary Road is not owned by the University but neither is the northern side, as it is just outside University owned land but within the listed park site.

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