Deaf academy files plans for Exmouth’s Rolle College site
PUBLISHED: 17:13 08 August 2017
Plans to turn Exmouth’s former Rolle College site into a ‘world-class’ facility for teaching deaf youngsters have been formally submitted to district planners.
Exeter Deaf Academy has applied for planning permission for the site in Douglas Avenue.
The proposals include the demolition of buildings, the refurbishment of the Owen Building, and the construction of a new teaching building.
There will also be student boarding accommodation, consisting of three-storey townhouses, and a new multi-use games area.
The site would cater for up to 80 youngsters aged from four to 25.
The planning application states: “Our new world-class academy will transform education and care services for deaf children, young people and their families. The site will house our academy, college and student accommodation, with the academy creating a vibrant space designed to inspire our students and connect them with the wider community.”
The plan is for many of the educational buildings at the western end of the site to be demolished.
The listed Eldin Building and the surrounding conservation area will remain unaltered, with the academy hoping to use them in the future when funding allows.
The existing vehicle access from Douglas Avenue will remain. A new vehicle access from Fairfield Road, for staff parking, is proposed.
The academy is also proposing facilities for community use, with public access to the Owen Building theatre when the space is not needed by pupils.
The total cost of the project is £17.9million, with nearly 80 per cent of this coming from the sale of the academy’s existing site in Exeter.
The planning application follows a public consultation event held at Exmouth’s Ocean in May, during which the architects agreed to move the proposed games area away from the site boundary following discussions with neighbours.
The deaf academy agreed the purchase of the site from previous owner Plymouth University last year, the university’s operations there having ended in 2008.
Exmouth Town Council will be consulted on the application, before East Devon District Council decides on planning permission.
An academy spokesperson added that ‘initial enabling works’ had been agreed with the district council, with early demolition works to begin at the end of August.