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Heritage trust appeals to council to restore gardens to 40s glory

By Herald Express  |  Posted: September 03, 2012

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A GARDEN heritage charity is urging a rethink on the sunken garden in plans to patch up Torquay's crumbling banjo and prom.

The Devon Gardens Trust hopes the council will take 'bold steps' to restore the promenade to its heyday during the 1930s and 40s.

John Clark, conservation officer for the trust, said: "A new landscape restoration scheme designed to return the gardens to the pre-war design of 1938 would provide a wide uninterrupted promenade running the length of the gardens.

"This would once again be the high point of Princess Gardens and the Torquay promenade."

The Devon Gardens Trust, based in Topsham, was asked to comment on plans to remove the top level of the banjo structure by Torbay Planning and Development Services.

The consultation was made because the banjo plans affects Princess Gardens, an historic designed landscape listed on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

Mr Clark said the trust was delighted the authority had abandoned the Torquay Harbour Area Action Plan of 2010 to develop the area between Princess Gardens and the harbour.

He said that the trust and the Garden History Society were strongly opposed to any development between the gardens and the harbour, but accepted that the future of the two level walkway, known as the banjo, needed to be considered as it had structural problems.

Mr Clark said he hoped the council would consider reinstating the former gardens.

He said: " The trust appreciates there are cost constraints, but suggests that such a scheme would be a considerable asset to Torbay and its garden heritage."

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  • mikelister66  |  September 03 2012, 2:16PM

    Why does everything have to be restored to former glories? I think the gardens are a valuable outdoor space which should be retained but they could still be given a modern revamp. The times change, we need to move with them not stagnate in the past.