Acorn Property Group has been granted planning consent for new homes on the site of a former college in Exmouth, following a unanimous vote in favour by East Devon District Council.
Located on a 2-acre plot on Douglas Avenue in Exmouth, the site is the former Rolle College campus, part of University of Plymouth. Large parts of the site have been redeveloped including the new Exeter Deaf Academy, which purchased the site in 2016, with Acorn’s consented plans set to transform the remaining area. The site is situated less than a 10-minute walk to Exmouth Beach.
Specialists at converting disused historic and industrial buildings, Acorn’s approved plans include the conversion of a Grade II listed ‘Eldin House’ building into four apartments, and a historic potting shed which will be extended and refurbished into homes. Alongside this, Acorn will build newbuild homes; the total site will provide 33 bespoke homes, a collection of 19 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, and ten houses. There will also be allocated parking spaces and select trees are being retained alongside new landscaping.
The site was purchased without planning consent from the Deaf Academy as the site was surplus to their teaching needs. The consented plans were praised at the meeting for being appropriate for the local housing need and density, and named the ‘best possible outcome’ for the disused land.
The current site is vacant, and Acorn plan to start construction this autumn, with the first homes to launch for sale Q3 2022, and final completion Q1 2023.
Acorn highlights that the approved scheme has been meticulously and sensitively designed and ensures that key features of the site will be retained and enhanced, an ethos they approach all conversion projects with.
The unanimous vote follows proactive consultation and community engagement, which saw the plans altered accordingly. Acorn’s approved plans include reducing the proposed building height from five storeys to 3.5 storeys. The plans for the potting shed will now retain the fin wall and incorporate it into the new bungalow homes to be built, following direct input from the conservation officer and urban design officer on this unit.
Ed Lewis, Regional Director of Acorn’s Exeter Region says: “We are delighted to have received planning consent and such enthusiastic support for our new homes scheme on Douglas Avenue in Exmouth, which is set to bring life to disused land. At Acorn we always endeavour to listen carefully to all feedback at public consultation and for this site we reduced the building height and have planned retention of a fin wall following our community engagement process, working closely with key stakeholders. Given the site’s location so close to Exmouth Beach, we anticipate high demand for these homes and we are excited for construction to begin this summer.”