Rolle College housing plan filed with council

The Owen Building at Rolle College

The Owen Building at Rolle College - Credit: Archant

A formal planning application to build homes on the former Rolle College site has been submitted by its owner, Plymouth University.

The proposal is for up to 85 homes, with the site’s Owen Building (pictured), for which a licence was agreed by community benefit society Rolle Exmouth Limited (REL) earlier this year, retained for community use.

As the university suggested when it held a public consultation earlier this year, the application proposes two schemes, with an area near the Owen Building earmarked for either sheltered accommodation, or more community use.

The application states there was ‘overwhelming support’ at the consultation for community, education, employment and other uses, and that of the two options, the one with more community use was ‘largely preferred’, but says permission is being sought for both in case the second scheme ‘cannot be successfully implemented’.

In a foreword to the planning application, the university’s interim vice-chancellor, Professor David Coslett, says: “The redevelopment of the former Rolle College campus presents an exciting opportunity to bring life back to an important part of Exmouth.

“Over the years, there have been many negotiations regarding the site, but for one reason or another, none of these proposals has come to fruition.

“That is why I am pleased we are now in a position to submit this planning application which, if granted, will secure the site’s regeneration.”

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The filing of the planning application follows the site being put up for sale last week – a move the university said was designed to establish market value, adding that it would run separately to the planning process.

REL is continuing its efforts to secure some or all of the site for community use, possibly in consortium with a developer.

The application - an outline application with all matters reserved except access - will be discussed by Exmouth Town Council’s planning committee on Monday. East Devon District Council will then make the final decision on planning permission.