ONE of the North-East’s leading universities has unveiled how two new colleges would look as it presses ahead with its growth plans despite concerns that it has outgrown its city.

Durham University revealed its plans for two colleges, catering for 1,000 students, on land it owns at the former golf course at Mount Oswald, in South Road, at an exhibition yesterday.

It plans to submit applications to Durham County Council later this month, with hopes of starting construction on the site in March, ready for students to move in September 2019.

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The site will house John Snow College, which has just moved from the campus in Stockton, and a brand new college, which would be the university’s 17th.

They will be in addition to another block of student accommodation at Mount Oswalds, with 850 beds, which was given planning permission in July.

The university held a public exhibition of the plans yesterday.

Richard Metcalfe, who lives near the proposed site, said: “I think if they are going to have 2,000 students up there they need to think the impact of having 2,000 young people living a different lifestyle from others in the area.

“In other towns it wouldn’t be an issue but Durham is different because it’s a small place. I have sympathy with the university because it has to grow to survive.”

Another man added: “I do think Durham has reached its capacity.”

Douglas Pocock, from the City of Durham Trust, said: “It strikes me that where they are now proposing to put a new college is exactly where it should be. The location is everything so that’s good. There are half a dozen colleges in the area so that’s where it should be rather than in the city centre.”

However, the trust has raised concerns about the increase in student numbers, which are set to rise from 17,000 to 21,500 by 2027.

Mr Pocock added: “Durham is a small city with the layout of an extremely small city and into this is being pumped an increasing number of students. I don’t think the infrastructure can take it.

“It’s all at the expense of the city as an entity.”

Jane Robinson, the university’s chief operating officer, said: “We are aiming to develop Colleges and facilities that will help us offer a wider student experience to rival anywhere in the world.

“I would like to thank everyone who attended the public exhibition and invite all with an interest in the development to make comments on our proposals via our website. All feedback is valuable to us, and will help us deliver the best development for the university, our staff and students, Durham City and the North East.”

The proposals also include a new shared hub building, with dining hall, gym, music and performance space, faith room, laundry and multi-use games area.

The consultation continues until Monday, October 23. People can comment by visiting www.durham.ac.uk.