Crunch time looming for Rolle College

PUBLISHED: 09:45 01 April 2014 | UPDATED: 09:45 01 April 2014

Rolle College

Rolle College

Archant

Rolle College shareholders will decide next month if plans to combine a new community and business hub with housing, should get the go-ahead.

And if they agree, planning permission could be given in 2015, writes David Beasley.

Rolle Exmouth Limited (REL), a not-for-profit company set up by residents in 2010, has been working to transform the former teacher-training college.

REL want the former campus to be a hub for education, training, community and small businesses.

They had been negotiating with owners Plymouth University to lease four acres of the seven-acre site.

The old plan would have seen the remainder probably sold off for housing.

But now REL has teamed up with Plymouth University for a single mixed-use development, with a single project team.

Some of the buildings date back to the 1950s, while others are more modern – at this stage it is unclear which buildings could be refitted and re-used and which ones would need to be demolished

Roy Pryke, chairman of REL said: “This is a significant change from our original business plan and gives us greater flexibility.

“The aspiration is to establish a coherent mixed use for the former Rolle College site which makes financial sense while ensuring that the key objectives are achieved.

“In this way REL hopes to provide tailored facilities to meet the researched needs of Exmouth.

“We have a once-only opportunity to secure this uniquely important site for Exmouth and the surrounding area – one which will be suited to the needs of Exmouth and the long term creation of real jobs.”

A spokesman for Plymouth University said: “We are pleased to build on our commitment to working in partnership with REL to support sustainable local regeneration and to ensure the legacy value of the site.

“We are currently engaged in the production of detailed project plans and in the many tasks leading, in due course, to the necessary planning application.”

REL MD Roger Staker said: “It is very early days and how it will be laid out and what goes where is still to be determined.

“If the shareholders support the principle we want to then work towards submitting a planning application within the next calendar year.”

n A special general meeting of more than 500 REL shareholders will be held on April 30, where they will get the chance to consider the proposals.

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