Canterbury need not rely on University

As someone who has spent much of the last 80 years living in and around Canterbury, I feel qualified to voice my opinions on the UKC’s plans to enter the property market. 
   By its own admission the University already has more than sufficient land available to expand its facilities for future generations of students, without, incidentally, specifying from where this increase in students will come – doubtfully from the UK and Europe, and certainly not China or India, nor Malaysia. Young people from those countries are prepared to pay the heavy cost of further education at Oxbridge, Imperial College and other such prestigious British universities, but comparatively few, I suggest, at UKC.  Those countries are developing and rapidly expanding their own universities which concentrate on the scientific subjects which they and the rest of the world will need in the years ahead.
   As has already been suggested, if such planning application had been made by a bona fide building or development company, it would have been refused with but scant discussion.  That UKC might be endeavoring to use its status as an educational establishment to get around would be despicable.  
   Canterbury and its sublime cathedral, and its place in British and Western European history, already had sufficient international prestige without the University.  In fact a case could be made that the UKC was founded to take advantage of the city’s world-wide fame.  
   There is no doubt that UKC has contributed to the local economy.  But there is equally no doubt that since its establishment there has been a rapid deterioration in the ambiance of, particularly, St. Peter’s Street, where, with but few exceptions, every shop appears to be a fast food establishment.  This, I suggest, is as much to do with catering for impecunious students as with tourists. Enough is enough.  A comparison with York, also a cathedral and university city, and one with many more historical attractions, is frankly odious.  Or, in the case of St. Peter’s Street, oderous.
    I earnestly hope that UKC’s planning application(s) will be turned down for the sake of the City of Canterbury, its local inhabitants, and its surrounding beautiful countryside.   
John Hembry.
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