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Matthew Broderick testifies at New York council hearing

Actor Matthew Broderick has spoken out against the planned expansion of a top university in his native New York over fears it will damage and drastically alter the character of the local surroundings.

The Ferris Bueller's Day Off star has fond memories of his upbringing in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, where he currently lives with his wife Sarah Jessica Parker and their three kids, and he was upset to hear that New York University bosses wanted to expand its base in the area and build over existing parks and other green land.

He joined concerned locals at a City Council hearing on Friday (29Jun12) and testified against the proposed plans, known as NYU 2031, which will provide students with new classrooms and additional performance space in the culturally and historically-rich neighborhood.

Broderick says, "I don't want it to go forward. I think it’s too big and changes the character of the Village in a bad way, massively.

"(NYU) might need to expand but they certainly don't need to destroy the Village. They have to find a way to not ruin the thing that makes people want to come here. I live here, grew up, born raised, still live here...

"For me the open park land is extremely important and there's not that much of it, and I've watched so much of it disappear and so many small, nice, beautiful buildings be knocked over for huge dorms (university residences), I just think it's gone too far and it's really hurting the Village."

The hearing was the last before council members voted on whether to approve or reject the expansion plans.

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