Go-ahead for 33 new homes on former Rolle College site in Exmouth

Plans for 33 new homes on the former Rolle College site in Exmouth have been unanimously approved.

The scheme will feature a three-and-a-half storey block of 19 apartments, ten houses, and see the listed 19th century Eldin House refurbished into four flats.

East Devon District Council’s Planning Committee gave applicant Acorn Property Group’s proposals the go-ahead – hailing them as ‘the best quality we will get within the constraints’.

The 1.9-acre plot – next to the recently-opened new Deaf Academy – is flanked by Fairfield Road, Portland Avenue and Douglas Avenue.

EDDC development manager Chris Rose recommended approval and told the meeting: “The existing site is vacant and run-down and its number of derelict and vandalised buildings do detract from the character and appearance of the area.

An artist's impression of the housing scheme for the former Rolle College site in Exmouth. Image shown to the EDDC Planning Committee

The layout of the housing scheme for the former Rolle College site in Exmouth. Image shown to the EDDC Planning Committee

“It is considered that the proposed design, layout and form of development has been largely sensitive to the topography of the site whilst addressing the complex constraints posed by the retained trees.

“The proposals would result in less than substantial harm to the setting for heritage assets where there are considered to be a number of both heritage and public benefits that weigh in favour of the scheme.

“On balance, it is considered that the proposals would provide a well-designed and well-thought-out residential scheme that would be positively contribute to the character and appearance of the area whilst safeguarding the future use of Eldin House.”

The derelict buildings at the Rolle College site, next to the new Deaf Academy, in Exmouth.  Image shown to the EDDC Planning Committee

The derelict buildings at the Rolle College site, next to the new Deaf Academy, in Exmouth. Image shown to the EDDC Planning Committee

Councillor Mike Howe said: “This brings the building back into use. Yes, we lose some trees, but they are not the best-quality trees, and if the officers thought we were losing good quality trees they would be screaming about it.

“This is far in advance of a lot of other developments, so I am happy to support this, and I cannot see how they could design it any better.”

Cllr Olly Davey added: “It is a shame to lose the trees, but if the officers feel this is the best we will get, I am happy to accept their view.

“This is the best quality we will get within the constraints.”

Cllr Philip Skinner said: “This is a scheme that works for Exmouth and the right density of housing in the right place.”

The Deaf Academy purchased the entirety of the former Rolle College campus site in September 2016.

It confirmed last year that it had sold the eastern part of the plot to Acorn Property Group.

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