The Story So Far

Kevicc School in Totnes Devon, is in need of funding to renovate and improve many facilities on the compound.

Unfortunately, this means selling off plots of land currently in the care of the school. The headmaster and governors have tasked The Torbay Development Agency to put together a plan to raise this funding. They created a consultation (available in full here). Sadly, this consultation was very poorly publicised and a tiny number of people, ninety nine in fact, responded to it.

The Consultation sets several plots of land aside for developers to make offers on. One of these is the open playing field leading down to the River Dart & The Elmhirst Building. Totnes Town Council wants to save these spaces from the developers for the people of Totnes.

The Town Council have formulated a solution that not only retains the area as a green space, but offers a range of important benefits:

  • It saves the field as a location of amenity for the town with potential for a community park and playing areas.
  • The space remains free of housing & commercial development.
  • The Elmhirst Building can be renovated for public and private use with potential to generate funds.
  • A Park & Ride with Bob the Bus can be implemented easing traffic in the Town
  • Access to the hugely popular River Dart landing stage can be improved
  • Parking spaces and other facilities will raise funds to cover the purchase & raise future funding for the town
  • Kevicc School benefits from almost immediate access to more than 2.5 million pounds allowing the remaining sites to generate futher income
  • The Space is subject to Air Quality Managment – The TTC plan will save the area from an appalling increase in pollution.

It’s a win-win situation…

BUT. It appears that the Governors and Trustees at the School are not interested in this wonderful opportunity. Kevicc School have not engaged with the Town Council since the offer was made and have put all the sites out for commercial tender with no further discussion. Local community site The Totnes Pulse wrote to Headmaster Alan Salt, for comments and answers to questions but these were not answered. It seems bizarre that a local school which is so much part of our community is failing to communicate openly.

It is looking very, VERY likely indeed that we as a town are going to have yet another luxury housing development putting yet more pressure on our already over-whelmed infrastructure.

With the commercial tender closing on 22th July (sic), The urgency to engage the school in this has ramped up dramatically. Local resident, Alice Widger created an online petition that generated more than a thousand signatures in just 5 days. Peter Shearn presented the petition to the A.G.M. of Devon County Council on Thursday 26th May. It was formally accepted and following a question from Councillor Jacqi Hodgsen asking if Devon County will support the Town Council offer, Councillor Ledbetter stated “Yes, it will benefit the town and the school”

Why this campaign?

Saving this space is now down to us, the townspeople. Totnes Town Council effectively have their hands tied and can bring zero pressure on Kevicc to consider this bid because this is a commercial situation. They might infringe on rules and regulations placed upon them by Non Disclosure Agreements for example. So this is down to us. If we want Kevicc to make the best decision for the town (and ironically for the school too!). We have to make it clear how we feel.

So what can I do?

We hope we can hear you saying…

Thank you so much for reading so far!