Two university campuses could be used for housing – as plans to consolidate them into a single new campus could be completed in two years.
Buckinghamshire College Group said that as part of plans to bring its Amersham and Flackwell Heath sites to a new campus in High Wycombe town centre, residential use of both is being considered to fund the project.
At the time, it was also believed that the university group was in talks with the authorities over a nearby building in Bridge Street leased as “car workshops and storage”.
He also offered to let properties on Brook Street owned by the redevelopment council as car training shops, according to a report published at the time.
The University Group has since said it started the process after reviewing the Amersham and Flackwell Heath campuses and found that demand for university places was ‘decreasing’ in Amersham and Chesham, but ‘growing rapidly’ in High Wycombe .
And although plans are still at a “very early stage” and planning permission and government funding still need to be sought, the new Wycombe campus could be open as early as autumn 2024, according to its website.
He added that the new campus “is not a foregone conclusion”.
A college spokesperson said: ‘We hope to be able to build a new campus in Wycombe town center and if we get the green light to do so, and if we can raise the necessary funds for the development, then activities currently businesses at Amersham and Flackwell Heath campuses will move to the new campus.
“There are a number of hurdles to overcome before we get to that – whether we can get planning permission for the new campus, whether we can get enough government funding to help with the cost of the new campus, and well other things too, so it’s not a foregone conclusion that a new campus will be built, and our plans are still at a very early stage.
“We started this process after reviewing the condition and use of existing campuses at Amersham and Flackwell Heath. Additionally, demographic studies have shown that demand for college places is decreasing in Amersham and Chesham while it is increasing rapidly in High Wycombe.
“We are looking at all options for the future of the Amersham and Flackwell Heath sites which would provide us with the significant funding we would need to move forward with plans for the new Wycombe campus.
“This includes the potential for the sites to be used for housing, subject to all relevant planning permissions and requirements, and we are in discussion with the planning authority about this.”