Sunday, 19 October 2008

What will be the fate of Aberystwyth University's Llanbadarn Campus?

This week the bulldozers moved in on Aberystwyth University's Llanbadarn Campus halls of residence, home to so many students over the years. The demolition of the halls is expected to take many weeks.

What will be the long-term fate of the campus? There has been no announcement from the University yet, and no consultation with residents of Llanbadarn Fawr, so it is impossible to say what the current plans of the University are. There are many other questions. Will those demolishing the halls damage any of the green areas and trees? Will the campus be replaced with a housing estate? What will be the impact on Coleg Ceredigion, University Departments and the local community? Will the current green spaces on the beautiful campus be retained and protected? CIN members will be monitoring developments on the campus.

The lower part of the campus is an important liminal area that connects the university to the local community. Locals use this area constructively for walking or running; playing; picnics and a place to read a book in the summer; and in autumn the historic orchard continues to be a respected natural place where people can pick apples, damsons, blackberries and plums.

The University has a reputation for building on greenfield sites. Let us hope that in this case they consult with the local community and groups such as CIN, Transition Towns, Greener Aberystwyth Group and the Woodland Trust.

Before the bulldozers...

Here are some images of the Llanbadarn Campus recording how it looked a few weeks before the bulldozers moved in. Click images to enlarge.

[The centre of the campus]

[One of the trees - what will happen to this?]

[One of the memorials to dead students]

The lower part of the campus is also a place of great beauty, with an ancient orchard and open spaces. This area is often used by nearby residents to walk, read, and relax. One fear is that the University will sell the land for development, putting all this amazing open space at risk. Images of the lower part of the campus below.

[Tree-lined paths]

[A view across the meadow]

[View to Aberystwyth]

[Apple trees]

[Area left uncut as wild meadow - walking by here you will hear thousands of crickets!]

[More apples - there are many species]

30 November 2008: See image below - demolition in progress.

January-February 2009: See image below - demolition completed.

Thu 19th February 2009: See image below - from the Cambrian News, p4 (click to enlarge). The University is accused of illegally demolishing buildings.

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