Developer cash boost for £15m community college expansion

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 October 2019

Archant

Cash from developers will help towards the £15m expansion of Exmouth Community College.

East Devon District Council's strategic planning committee agreed to contribute up to £1.5m towards the school.

The money comes from community infrastructure levy (CIL) contributions the council has collected from housing developments in and around the district.

Devon County Council requested a £1.5m contribution from CIL contributions to help fund the expansion proposal.

Councillor Philip Skinner, who was once a pupil at the school, said that it was a 'massive school in a massive area' and it was 'imperative' that the council get 100 per cent behind it.

Cllr Mike Howe added that the school has been a 'sad case' as it needed the money desperately.

He said: "We have the funds to do it at last and, with the added pressure of extra development around Exmouth, we should put our money where our mouth is and reinforce education as being important in East Devon."

Concerns were raised by Cllr Nick Hookway that there is a need for a second community college in Exmouth and putting the cash towards this could stop the county council being pushed towards delivering the new school.

But Cllr Skinner said there was an urgent need for the school to expand because the additional numbers anticipated from the new housing developments would not be sustainable, and the discussion around a second school was one that should take place another day.

The school is set to get a new £15million building to future-proof it for the next 50 years and once again see it become the largest school in the UK.

The old humanities building at the Green Close site, which is currently home to around 20 classrooms, will be demolished.

In its place will be a new building taking into account the curriculum demands and the types of classrooms the specialist maths and computing academy requires.

The new building will enable the school to increase its capacity from the current 2,420 to around 2,800 in 2020.

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