The University has been granted planning permission for work to begin on the new Goodricke College site on Heslington East. Work is due to commence in July, with plans for the first students to move into by the the start of the 2008/09 academic year.
Goodricke currently houses less than 400 students in some of the smallest accommodation on campus, with some of the rooms having only recently gained access to full cooking facilities. The new accommodation will consist of six housing blocks, providing living space for just over 600.
The old Goodricke buildings will be made available for use by other departments and colleges.
The new college buildings will be the first to go up on the rural site which has caused controversy since the £500million expansion was first proposed almost three years ago. The 117-acre University extension will be largely built on green belt area, which is often protected from development.
When the University won government consent for the vast expansion project, local environmentalists argued that the agreement was symptomatic of a worrying disregard for the preservation of greenbelt land.
The final site will almost double the student population of the University and will include new departments such as Theatre, Film and Television.