New Peterborough university will ‘regenerate Embankment’

Peterborough’s new university will enhance the Embankment, according to its principal.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 4:57 am

Fears have been raised that ARU Peterborough will have a negative impact on the city’s precious green space, especially with Peterborough United also planning to move into a new stadium nearby.

But Ross Renton told the Peterborough Telegraph that the opposite will actually be the case.

The new principal shared a document with the PT which states that: “The project will regenerate an area of the Embankment which is currently characterised, in large parts, by poor quality car parking and unmanaged, overgrown tree belts and grass.

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Plans have been revealed to 'enhance' the Embankment as part of the university project
Plans have been revealed to 'enhance' the Embankment as part of the university project

“This will be transformed into a campus which enhances the amount and quality of public open space – a campus which will be specifically designed for people to enjoy and to encourage biodiversity to flourish in accessible areas for public use.”

It adds that the proposals will deliver a net gain in public open space of approximately 4,000m2 and will offer: landscape areas and footpaths, seasonal wet land areas and rainwater collection areas lined with wildflower meadows, additional tree planting and space for visitors.

Mr Renton told the PT: “It’s a question I’ve asked as I want to know. I’ve spoken to the architects and the (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough) combined authority.

“I think it’s about having really usable green space that people can access. And looking at the plans already there’s a nice document which has been produced which shows the additional, usable space around it.

Proposed public realm and open space with the new university

“I don’t want the campus to have any gates, walls or fences around it - it should be a really pleasant public realm space. Having an open space, green campus - how attractive would that be in the middle of a city?”

Asked if the five proposed buildings at the university will be environmentally-friendly, with Peterborough having declared a climate emergency, Mr Renton replied: “I’ve been speaking to the architects around that, even on things like ventilation. The building itself is being built in an efficient way.

“I also think as we develop it will be a behavioural thing. It’s not just about buildings but how we use the space.

“Do people need to commute in all the time? So being flexible with working practices, but also building awareness of sustainability issues. I’m really keen for our students to be engaged with the sustainable development goals and really seeing that as being part of that education.”