Building will put college at cutting edge of 'micro-generation training'
THE design of South Devon College's proposed energy centre will be 'dynamic and bold', councillors have been told.
A planning application for the renewable energy training centre is expected to be granted permission by Torbay Council after a positive report from officers.
At full capacity, the centre, next to the new Premier Inn at White Rock in Paignton, will provide training for 400 trainees and employ 16 full-time members of staff.
The application is for an energy centre and an adjacent demonstration house, both two storeys high and used for education.
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Solar panels will adorn both roofs but the main building will also have a 'green' sedum plant surface to encourage biodiversity.
The idea of the design is to reflect the uses to which the centre will be put.
As the report says: "The purpose of the building will be to establish South Devon College as a leading training provider at the cutting edge of micro-generation training within the South West."
The college says classes will train future environmental entrepreneurs with the skills they need to build eco-homes and promote renewable technologies.
There would be a large glazed entrance hall, cafe, pod features, internal viewing galleries and walkways.
The demonstration house will be used as part of the teaching curriculum to show how modern technologies can be fitted to homes.
The college recently secured funding with a £2million grant from the Skills Funding Agency. This is on top of £1.2million from the Regional Growth Fund.
If planning is granted, construction is expected to get under way as soon as possible with the centre operational in 12 months.
The college's existing renewable energy course, including photovoltaic and solar thermal installation plus a renewable technologies awareness course, will be transferred over to the new energy centre alongside new courses incorporating biomass technologies, micro-generation and solid wall insulation and control systems.
The report by planners states: "The proposed building has a high standard of design with a modern and innovative external appearance."
It recommends councillors grant planning permission subject to conditions about highways and a financial contribution towards transport.
"The proposal would constitute provision of two high-quality buildings to be used for education purposes for sustainable construction and renewable energy courses," the reports sates."
The meeting of the development management committee is due to take place on Monday at Oldway Mansion starting at 2pm.