Ex-Rolle College site put up for sale

PUBLISHED: 06:30 07 December 2015

The Owen Building at Rolle College

The Owen Building at Rolle College

Archant

The former Rolle College site has been put up for sale by Plymouth University.

However, campaigners hoping to secure some or all of the site for community use say they are still able to achieve their objectives.

The listing of the 6.9-acre site comes after the university consulted earlier this year on plans to redevelop most of its former campus for housing – though no planning application has yet been submitted.

Drawings with the sale listing show the whole of the site being up for sale, with the exception of the Owen Building, for which a licence was agreed with community benefit society Rolle Exmouth Limited (REL) earlier this year.

The university had suggested a neighbouring section of the site could also be allocated for community or business use, but the drawings include this in the area to be sold off, although an alternative layout showing more employment space is said to be available.

The sale document, produced by property agents Maze on behalf of the university, states: “The site, which has been closed since 2008, represents a significant regeneration opportunity within Exmouth, where the existing policy has identified its redevelopment for a residential-led mixed use.

“An outline application is being submitted for 131 units with a mixture of town houses and apartments, which sit within the landscape setting. There are a number of possibilities for the property’s potential future use as either residential or commercial accommodation.”

There is no set asking price, with the value of the site to be determined through the marketing process.

Commenting on the decision to list the site for sale now, a Plymouth University spokesman said: “The marketing of the former Rolle College site is part of an attempt to establish its current market value.

“This is something residents and other interested parties were informed of during the course of the public consultation, and it will run separately to the planning process.

“Under its governance rules, the university is obliged to obtain best value when selling its property and we are endeavouring to do that at the same time as providing a lasting benefit to the whole community.”

In response, REL chairman Deborah Hallett said: “‘It is surprising that Plymouth University has elected to market the site at this stage before securing planning approval.

“REL will continue to push for a preferred position to secure some, or all, of the site, building a consortium that will tender for it.

“We have ambitious plans for the site and fantastic support from the community and organisations across East Devon.

“We also continue to accelerate our fundraising and our consultations with interested developers.

“Our priority remains to ensure that Plymouth University meets its commitment to a legacy and to preserve the site for the Exmouth and East Devon community to improve the community, education and business facilities in Exmouth and knowledge and skill-based career opportunities in Exmouth and East Devon.”

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