New lease of life for old school site?

Major plans move forward for new Bideford housing estate

A MAJOR house-building project on the site a former Bideford school could start as early next year.

Developer Newland Homes said its plans to build 67 homes on the former Grenville College campus had received “positive feedback” from Bideford Town Council and members of the public.

The company says the disused and derelict campus has moved a step nearer gaining a new lease of life as an exciting modern housing development.

Plans were submitted to Torridge District Council in September and while the proposals are still subject to a 13-week public consultation period, the firm said it hoped for a determination by December.

Subject to approval, builders would be on site by early spring next year, with the first homes available to buy in early summer.

Newland design manager, Tom Sheppard, said: “Overall we are pleased to say we have had positive feedback from both the general public and the town council here in Bideford.

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“We held a special ‘drop in’ session at the development site where we displayed our development plans for the public at large to view and comment upon.

“Also, we officially invited some 250 local households to view these plans and we were encouraged by the number of local people in attendance.”

Mr Sheppard said the town council confirmed its support for the development at a recent planning meeting.

“Neighbours of the site were all pleased to see plans for re-development of the site and also to be given the opportunity to see the proposals and comment at such an early stage,” he added.

“Comments and feedback from the council and the public are currently being considered and over the next few weeks responded to.”

As part of the new homes planned, Newland Homes will also buy the five Edwardian Villas fronting Belvoir Road.

The former school buildings were recently granted permission for residential use and Newland say their retention, in conjunction with the mature trees to this part of the site, will provide a natural and substantial screen to the development.

The development will also see the delivery of 14 affordable homes and the provision of public open space, along with a contribution of �43,000 for improvements to existing space off site; a �170,000 contribution to education; and a �20,000 highways contribution, including footpath links to Lime Grove and Abbotsham Road.

Public art will also be provided within the site, which sees the retention and relocation of the sculptures produced by former pupils celebrating the school’s golden jubilee.

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