SOLD – Developer snaps up section of former Rolle College site

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:38 12 February 2020

An aerial view of the Owen Building at the Deaf Academy. Picture: Deaf Academy

An aerial view of the Owen Building at the Deaf Academy. Picture: Deaf Academy

Archant

A section of Exmouth’s former Rolle College has been sold off to developers amid fears a listed building on the site would drain funds for a new Deaf Academy.

Acorn Property Group has completed the purchase of a plot in the eastern section of the Exmouth site which is being converted into a new state-of-the-art Deaf Academy.

Academy bosses cited the cost of keeping the area secure and preventing further decline of the listed Eldin House as reasons why they have sold the land.

The academy said the sale will make sure it has the necessary funds to complete the construction of its new multi-million-pound facility by April.

Steve Morton, director of development at the Deaf Academy, said the cash injection from the sale means opening in April is now a 'certainty'.

He said: "Despite our initial thoughts that the eastern portion of the Rolle site would be developed by the charity in the future, we have decided that we need to focus our attention on developing a world class, outstanding Deaf Academy and children's home in Exmouth.

"It is now clear that developing this area would have become a major distraction and would be for many years.

"In the meantime, this land would become more of a liability than an asset and to keep our students and other young people safe, we would have to keep spending money we could ill afford.

"Once we identified this area as a surplus asset, we were delighted when Acorn offered to buy it for a very fair price and quickly progressed the sale."

Ed Lewis, regional director of Acorn's Exeter office, said they have met with TARA (The Avenues Residents Association) and will be consulting with Exmouth Town Council Littleham ward members and neighbouring residents.

He said: "Whilst the land we have purchased is no longer suitable for the school, we recognise the need for significant regeneration of the site and worked closely and quickly with The Deaf Academy, agreeing and completing on the purchase within two weeks."

The Deaf Academy is still aiming to raise the final £200,000 needed to kit out the new facility via its 'Do One Thing' campaign.

Visit the appeal website


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