PLANS have been put forward to create a new £140 million university development in Cirencester.

An outline planning application for the proposed 29-acre site for the Royal Agricultural University was submitted to Cotswold District Council on Thursday, June 20.

The mixed-use development project - also known as The Innovation Village - includes creating up to 27,600sqm of office, research, development, education, and conferencing spaces.

1,240 jobs could be created

If approved, it is estimated approximately 1,240 jobs would be created at the development including during and after construction.

The application - which was submitted by the RAU - also includes access and highway works such as creating two new vehicle entry points on Tetbury Road.

New pedestrian and cycle crossings would also be installed on Stroud Road and Tetbury Road.

Other proposals include creating an outdoor living laboratory space, an wetland habitat area plus converting an existing university building Trent Lodge into a cafe.

Graham Pollard RAU chief operating officer says the proposed site aims to draw researchers focused on “unlocking the power of the land” to meet global challenges.

It is also hoped the site will become a new community space for members of the public to use and enjoy.

Plans also include creating 386 new parking spaces - 20 per cent will have EV charging points - and 203 new cycle spaces.

Applicants say they plan to introduce a regular electric shuttle service between the proposed site, Kemble railway station and Cirencester.

The application also says the site will be carbon negative by using innovations in sustainability, energy usage, build quality, materials and landscaping.

In addition, the street lights on site will also be red in the summer to protect insects and biodiversity, while it would be the usual white colour in the winter.

The plan also includes the demolition of Steadings Cottages and outbuildings located off Tetbury Road.

If approved, it is hoped first phase pre-construction will begin in 2025.

Meanwhile, first phase post-construction could start in 2028 with the full project completed in 2040.

Graham Pollard RAU chief operating officer, said: “The Innovation Village is a cluster development that will accommodate organisations and expertise from academia, industry and policy-making in order to generate real-world solutions to the global challenges of food production, climate change and land health.

“The Innovation Village will be of national and international significance, leveraging the support of the RAU’s established network of global partners.”

What the proposed site could look like 

(Image: Royal Agricultural University)

(Image: Royal Agricultural University)

(Image: Royal Agricultural University)

(Image: Royal Agricultural University)

(Image: Royal Agricultural University)

The new streetlights at the proposed site would be red in the summer to protect insects (Image: Royal Agricultural University)

It will have a "global reach"

A planning document reads: “The impact generated through the Innovation Village will have global reach, but it will deliver significant benefits locally too.

“The distinctiveness of the development, positioned within the RAU estate, will generate additional GVA to the local economy, public sector revenues, and new jobs in the area.

“The Innovation Village will be a community asset supporting education, social and physical activity that will be open and accessible to all.

“Conversely, a historic failure to develop the campus in the way that other universities have over recent decades, has held back the RAUs growth and secured our position as the UKs smallest public university. This masterplan will see that change.

“The proposed development aims to be beautiful, carbon neutral, rich in nature and will inspire innovation through its environment.

“It will demonstrate new innovations in sustainability, energy usage, build quality, materials and landscaping to be a truly net-zero and exemplary sustainable development, the likes of which does not presently exist anywhere.”

You can view the application quoting 24/01143/OUT or see here -