What does the future hold for Honiton's former Millwater School site?

PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 November 2017

The old Millwater School site in Honiton. Ref mhh 45 17TI 3116. Picture: Terry Ife

The old Millwater School site in Honiton. Ref mhh 45 17TI 3116. Picture: Terry Ife

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It was suggested the school could be 'surplus to the needs' of Devon County Council.

The future of a former school site in Honiton has been thrown wide open after it was suggested it could be deemed ‘surplus to the needs’ of Devon County Council.

The old Millwater School site, in Honiton Bottom Road, has been vacant for almost three years after the school moved to Bicton.

At a meeting of Honiton Town Council last week, county councillor Phil Twiss revealed the site would be auctioned off in ‘the not too distant future’.

However, a county council spokesman has only confirmed it is intended that ‘some or all’ of the site will be disposed of.

The spokesman added: “Since the Millwater School moved to Bicton, its former site at Honiton has been held by the county council for other possible educational needs.

“It’s intended that some or all of the site will be declared surplus to the needs of the county council and disposed of.

“However, this is yet to happen and therefore no decisions have been made on the method of disposal.”

Millwater School, which educates pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties, moved into a new purpose built school in the grounds of Bicton College in January 2015, taking the name Mill Water School.

Since the move, the site, which is adjacent to Littletown Primary Academy, has slowly deteriorated.

In an email seen by the Herald, concerns were raised by one of Littletown Primary Academy’s governors about the state of the disused site last month.

The email read: “Our concerns are the increasingly poor condition of the site which is now resulting in increasing incidents of young people trespassing on the site, which also puts our site at risk.

“We are concerned for the dangers to these young people with the deteriorating condition of the building and the potential risk of arson and vandalism.”

Cllr Twiss, who is also Honiton St Michael’s ward member for East Devon District Council, is now calling for action to have the site tidied up and made use of properly.

He said: “Something needs to be done with this site – it’s a mess and is rapidly becoming an eyesore. We need to come up with a better solution and do something with it.

“I want the site tidied up and for better use to be made out of it.

“It can not stay in the state it currently is.”

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