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UCL pulls out of Stratford talks

University College London is seeking a new site for its £1 billion Stratford campus after abandoning contoversial plans to redevelop a housing estate in East London.

The university announced today that it has broken off talks with Newham Council over the Carpenters Estate, where it had intended to build a new university quarter on the edge of the Olympic Park.

It follows protests by local residents unwilling to move out of the area, while concerns have also been raised over a shortage of housing in UCL’s proposals.

UCL had wanted to build research facilities for departments such as engineering and population health at the new university quarter, as well as accommodation for staff and students.

UCL provost Malcolm Grant said the university still hoped to find a suitable site in Stratford to build a second London campus.

“This was an ambitious but extremely complex proposal and the process of intensive and lengthy examination has led us both to conclude that we cannot reach a commercial agreement,” said Professor Grant.

“However, the process has reaffirmed the commitment of both parties to establishing a UCL presence in Stratford.”

The end of the deal means Newham Council will now talk to other interested parties about developing the site.

A council spokesman said: “We recognise that this decision will bring further uncertainty for residents of the estate.

“A number of parties have expressed an interest in working with Newham Council to help regenerate the Carpenters Estate.”

jack.grove@tsleducation.com

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