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New Build

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The Exmouth Rolle site was purchased in September 2016 to create a new home for the Deaf Academy.  In conjunction with the architectural and town planning studios at Stride Treglown, we were pleased to present a proposal for the site, which both meets the ambitions of the Deaf Academy and hopefully the aspirations of the local community.

The public were invited to give their feedback on the proposals in May 2017, before the planning application for the exciting plans was submitted to East Devon District Council at the start of July 2017. As part of the initial enabling works that has been previously agreed with East Devon District Council, early demolition works will commence at the end of August 2017.

Download a copy of our public consultation leaflet.
Click here to view our planning application on the East Devon District Council website.

Scroll to the bottom of this page to view the architect's impressions of The Academy’s new building, designed by award winning architects Stride Treglown.


Following extensive consultation with students and staff, the design will reflect key design principles to create an inspiring environment that reflects the needs and abilities of Deaf students. 

The new Academy will be designed with Deaf children for Deaf children. A place of light, colour, enjoyment, discovery and achievement. It will inspire Deaf children to fulfil their dreams and equip them to live successful and happy lives when they leave. Its design, and the education and care within it, will be a global exemplar for the provision of services for Deaf young people.

Key points
  1. The existing Owen Building is to be retained, maintaining the theatre. It is proposed that the theatre will be available for community use, although the exact details of community use have yet to be confirmed.

  2. New centrally located main school building, likely to be arranged around a central ‘learning forest’ providing a lively and engaging learning space.

  3. Existing main vehicular access along Douglas Avenue will remain for school drop off and parent parking, with an additional pedestrian link from Rolle Road, providing a clear connection from the site to the town centre.

  4. Staff parking to the rear of the site with access from Fairfield Road.

  5. The land to the east of the site sits within the Conservation Area and includes the listed Eldin building & greenhouse. This area is not included within the current proposals. 

  6. The centre of the site will be where the student accommodation will be located creating a buffer zone between the school and the Eldin building. The existing brick walls and mature vegetation surrounding this area of the site provide a more private feel, suited to student living.

  7. The proposals seek to retain the mature trees and landscape setting around the Douglas Avenue and Salterton Road boundaries. The sports facilities will be located to the west of the site replacing the existing buildings and creating a more open and green feel to this area of the site.

  8. Many of the existing education buildings are no longer fit for purpose and do not fit the requirements of the academy, therefore the majority of these building are proposed to be demolished.
Our aspirations for the new Academy
  • Our new world class Academy will transform education and care services for Deaf children, young people and their families.

  • The site will house our school, college and residential accommodation, with the Academy creating a vibrant space designed to inspire our students and connect them with the wider community.

  • Our new campus provides distinct identities for school and college, establishing a clear learning journey for students as they progress.

  • Light open spaces optimise visual communication for sign language or lip-reading.

  • Good acoustics maximise access to sound for those using assistive technology, such as hearing aids.

  • Our classrooms and vocational work spaces, equipped with modern technology, will inspire students to learn and prepare them for work when they move on from the Academy.

  • The new Academy will be fully accessible with therapy services on site, ensuring all students, including those with physical disabilities and complex needs, are able to thrive.

  • Student residencies are designed in clusters. Students will cook their own meals and learn independent living skills, just like they would at home. In their spare time, students will be able to enjoy the fantastic amenities that Exmouth has to offer.

  • Family accommodation on-site will make it easier for parents to attend appointments or courses, such as our Family Sign Language weekends.
Being part of the community

Being part of a community is at the heart of our vision. We will look to make facilities available for local people, allowing others to benefit from our new Academy. We will also reach out to the community to create a deaf-friendly town, where our Deaf young people feel welcome.

We want our students to get involved and become confident, independent young people, actively participating in and contributing to the local community.

Our new Deaf Academy will enable us to build on our proud 190 year history and start an exciting new chapter in Exmouth, creating a brighter future for Deaf children and young people.