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The Sands Building

Image of a large modern building with water in the foregroundStatus:  In planning

We are currently exploring with Durham County Council the possibility of occupying the new building at The Sands, Durham City. The Sands Building has already secured planning permission, so an alternative use such as education will require a new planning approval for change of use. In line with the overall space management requirements, we are seeking permission for change in use of the building as we propose to use The Sands building for Durham University Business School.

We are currently looking at the required space to enhance the academic and student experience on campus and better support our staff. Even with our new hybrid working model, we cannot accommodate our current plans without acquiring additional space. The University has expanded in recent years, and we have taken on additional students and staff. We have here an opportunity to relieve some pressure on space and deliver a better experience for staff and students, taking into account impact on the communities with which we engage.

Any proposal for the University to occupy the building would be subject to consultation via the usual processes. No decisions have as yet been made on how we use the building for Durham University Business School. We want potential users of the building to be an integral part of the project and to have the opportunity to feed in their thoughts, ideas and requirements. 

Timescales and next steps 

Durham County Council Cabinet members agreed last year to look at alternative options to the council occupying the site and it has been to DCC cabinet on 27 April.

Durham University has submitted a planning application and there will of course be a statutory public consultation process, run through Durham County Council for a change of use of the building. We are aiming for a decision in July. If we are successful in the change of use of the building application, we will then need to develop the project further. 

We will provide more information as soon as we can. 

The Sands Building

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