Members of the Plymouth deaf community were visibly moved and broke into applause as councillors voted in favour of the proposals at a city planning meeting. The block of ten apartments in Mannamead will be purpose-built for deaf people and, as such, will be the first of their kind in the UK.
They will be built behind Blake Lodge in Seymour Road after the demolition of the present gym. Revenue from the project will be reinvested into the lodge, the home of Plymouth Deaf Association (PDA), and the apartments will be used exclusively by PDA members.
Speaking at the meeting, Daniel Atkins of Crayon Architects and agent for the applicant Andy Atkinson (trustee of the PDA), told councillors: "Since its formation in 1897 the PDA has been renowned for its outstanding work in supporting those in need across the city and further afield. The current board has vision where the charity can continue this work for the next hundred years and beyond.