Developer submits planning application to build retirement flats on former school site in Exeter

A development with dozens of new retirement apartments could be built on the former site of the Deaf Academy in Exeter.

Adlington Retirement Living is applying to Exeter City Council for 65 homes on the brownfield site on Topsham Road, writes local democracy reporter Ollie Heptinstall.

If approved, the four-storey development will consist of one, two and three-bedroom private apartments, with care for the elderly, associated communal facilities and landscaped gardens.

There will also be a restaurant, coffee lounge, hairdressing salon, activities’ suite, mobility scooter store with charging points, staff accommodation, as well as parking for residents, staff and visitors.

It forms part of a major redevelopment of the land, where 146 new homes are currently being constructed. There is also permission for a pre-school nursery, an assisted-living development and other infrastructure.


The former deaf academy site in Topsham Road, Exeter.

The proposals have proved controversial. An application for 84 retirement apartments on the corner between Weirfield Road and Topsham led to a public inquiry last year following concerns over affordable housing and access.

It was subsequently approved, which paved the way for this new application.

In support of the plans, the planning application states: “The scale and density of the development is appropriate, having regard to the policy requirements, to harmonise with the character and surrounding development and make best use of the land.

“The design provides a bespoke and high-quality building that will provide a positive contribution and complete one of the final pieces to the wider ERADE masterplan.”

Exeter City Council’s planning committee will consider the application at a later date.

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