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Old Primary School Location to Become Self-Build Project

New self-build homes are set to be built on a site formerly occupied by a Plymouth primary school, which closed six years ago.

The former location of West Park Elementary School, valued at £323,000, will be occupied by 32 self-build plots, along with gardens and parking spaces.

Trathen Properties has received the go-ahead from Plymouth City Council to start construction on the homes, subject to an agreement under Section 106 -in which developers donate money for community projects- being decided.

Plymouth City Council admitted that Trathen’s bid for the former school site was not the highest it received, but offered the best return on capital receipts after the houses were constructed.

West Park Elementary School was closed in 2009 when it merged with Chaucer Way to create Shakespeare Primary School. Three years later its land in Little Dock Lane was designated as ‘surplus to requirements’.

According to developers, the plans will revitalise the empty land by providing a self and well-designed residential development, which also includes the provision of street lighting and a new access road. Each plot will have a garage and a ratio of 1.72 parking spaces each.

The plan’s design and access statement, which accompanied the application, said that it would create a modern and attractive scheme that won’t interfere with the sightlines of any surrounding properties.

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Cabinet members are permitted to dispose of property for a lower amount than the highest bid when the financial difference is £200,000 and £500,000 less, a leeway which applies to the primary school land sale.

Plymouth City Council confirmed it had a register of 80 people who are interested in building their homes on the site and explained that the deal would make a substantial contribution to meeting some of the need for affordable housing.

The council also expressed hope that the new development would implement a “wider mix of tenure” to balance out the large amount of social housing in the area while at the same time offering opportunities for aspiring homeowners to obtain their own houses below the market value.


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