PLANS to dismantle Torquay's historic Pavilion and rebuild it on an island in the town's inner harbour have been drawn up by residents.
The proposal to create a new island in the harbour as a major attraction is described as an opportunity for the community to have a 'Plan B' for the prime Pavilion site should the current £20million luxury hotel and apartments proposal fall by the wayside.
Marina Developments Limited, which leases the Pavilion, is working with its joint venture partner Harbour Hotels to submit a planning application for the site before Christmas.
They showed sketch plans of the proposals to the Mayor's Forum where concerns were raised about proposals for some parking on Cary Green.
The idea to dismantle the Pavilion and rebuild it brick by brick inside the harbour came from the Torquay Town Centre Ward Partnership.
Members Mark Hoyle and Julie Brown objected that it had been withdrawn from the Torquay Neighbourhood Plan proposals which have been out to public consultation.
Mr Hoyle told the plan steering group that if there was resistance to car parking on Cary Green, the developer could walk away and the Neighbourhood Plan needed to have an alternative.
It currently supports the principle of a hotel development on the site.
He said: "Torbay Council may be digging itself quite a big hole in their relationship with MDL.
"We favour a hotel development but we are saying it could be done better and give Torquay something completely unique on the South Coast."
If the Pavilion building was moved into the harbour as part of a revitalised harbour area, it could be accessed by bridges over the remaining water.
He said the empty Pavilion and car park site could then be redeveloped to include public performance space, a children's play area, a lower rise building which doesn't overshadow the harbour and a wet weather tourism attraction and a retail offer they described as 'Totnes by the sea'.
Alternatively, the hotel could be built on the island.
Neighbourhood Plan chairman Susie Colley said she had withdrawn the item from the plan because they had to make sure the planning inspectors found it 'sound' with proposals which are developable and viable.
She said the Pavilion island scheme had not had 'robust' consultation.
"I didn't include it in case developers thought we were barking mad," she said.
She asked if the steering group wanted it to go to consultation and be put back in the plan.
Margaret Forbes Hamilton said she did not believe heritage experts would allow the building to be moved.
Martin Edgell asked if harbour users had been consulted.
Julie Brown, of the town centre partnership, said the main aim was to stimulate debate about the future of the area.
She said the idea should not have been dropped.
"This is to provoke debate about other things which could be done there.
"This is a 20-year plan, moving the building might not be viable now but it could be in future," she said.
"It was the idea of the community partnership and that's why it should stay in, not because you think it is a good idea or a bad idea."
She warned if the idea was dropped the community partnership would object at the planning inquiry.
The meeting agreed that the idea should be reconsidered by the town centre groups for inclusion.