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Torquay Pavilion plans will go on show

By Herald Express  |  Posted: July 24, 2014

MISCHIEVOUS: The planning notice glued to the plinth of Agatha Christie's memorial bust

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THE would-be developers of a controversial four-star hotel for Torquay harbourside and Pavilion have said they will hold a public exhibition before their project goes to planners.

Following a meeting of the independent design review panel, Nicolas James Group says it will revise its current proposals for Torquay Pavilion and the marina car park further and plan to hold an exhibition, possibly in August.

At the full council meeting last week mayor Gordon Oliver told campaigners fighting the plans that Torbay must welcome developers and investment.

A 1,095-signature petition was presented against the building of a hotel on the harbourside and car parking in Cary Green.

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The opponents cited the loss of sea views for residents; the lack of well-paid jobs; loss of green space and a failure to consider alternative investment in the Pavilion. There was also criticism of a decision not to debate in full the transfer of leases on the site, with opponents claiming a lack of democratic accountability.

But the mayor said councillors had decided in 2012 to support regenerating the waterfront. Mayor Oliver said: "We have to be very careful we don't give out the message to developers in Torbay that once we make a decision we might go back on it. If we don't want to grant them a lease they'll walk."

He said issues raised by members of the public were planning ones to be decided by the planning committee.

Cllr Julien Parrott submitted an amendment to the petition asking for the chief executive of the Torbay Development Agency to get a better value deal for the residents of the Bay.

But it was defeated in a vote, with the mayor saying no deal with developers had been settled.

The loudest applause of the night was for opponent Fiona McPhail who accused the council of not standing up to developers.

She submitted a question saying proposals for the site disregarded the council's 'tall buildings strategy' as well as green space policy and covenants on Cary Green.

Alan Griffey, of Torbay Friends of the Earth, presented the petition, which had also been signed by 700 visitors.

He said: "If the proposed apartments are built the view will go, we'll be looking at a block of flats."

But Cllr Dave Thomas said: "Every reason which has come forward is a planning issue and needs to be put before planning."

A decision was taken to note the petition, but take no further action on it.

Dave Jobbins, development director of Nicolas James Group, said afterward they would be making changes to their proposals following the design review panel's findings. He confirmed they plan a public exhibition with the opportunity for residents to see the plans at first hand, saying: "The last one we did there were a lot more positive comments received and I believe in general there is more support for the scheme."

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed it was not council staff who glued a planning notice on the plinth of the Agatha Christie memorial bust in Cary Green, which will become a car park if the scheme goes ahead.

It was removed by a street warden after complaints from the public.

Cllr Darren Cowell said: "It was put there by somebody being mischievous and it's regrettable because it caused a lot of anger and offence.

"The key thing is making sure the design is right. As I've said already, it looks like a Lego airport hotel.

"There are two processes here: the planning and design process and how the leases and terms of the lease are negotiated."

Cllr Cowell has now tabled a motion to the next meeting of the council urging the mayor to ensure a debate on the terms of the lease before any agreement is signed.

He added: "Regrettably at the moment we have a bad deal and a bad design."

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  • Kirpre  |  August 07 2014, 1:34PM

    I find it hard to believe that the only way to save the pavilion is to make Cary green into a car park, what is wrong with fleet walk car park which is 100 yards from the proposed site & is never full of cars, the pavilion had shops inside & a bar & restaurant upstairs.which we're doing fine until the council decided to close the pavilion, so it seems to me that they are going to leave it boarded up for 3 years, then they can do what they want with it, we have just lost oldway mansion, what's next? There is still building work being carried out on the sea front, & the new apartments there will have to be sold. what about the site on torwood street which has been boarded up awaiting development for the last 4 years. The new building which is proposed is going to be very high, so it may cast a big shadow on the bars & restaurants already trading in the harbour, will block the view from the torbay hotel. I think it is going to be a white elephant on the harbour, out of sync with the rest of it & who is going to buy all these expensive exclusive flats, Do we have that many rich people waiting to buy them?

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  • TopMinstrel  |  August 02 2014, 10:48AM

    And and your point is isever***used. My point is we don't need a hotel, answer is no. The council are trying to put the Cart before the Horse. Nobody wants anything to happen to your abode, certainly not me, but looking at the bigger picture we need quality places and shops for people to spend their money, if we have them Torbay will look alive and vibrant again, that is the time to think about classy (?) hotels and apartments. Does that make it easier to understand.

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  • iseveryidused  |  August 01 2014, 11:11AM

    Minstrel, how would you feel if someone prevented you from improving your home, because someone felt that Mr Smiths house at No 42 should be painted by the council? Would you not think "but that has nothing to do with me?"

  • TopMinstrel  |  July 30 2014, 11:02AM

    ANOTHER THOUGHT ON REGENERATION When you walk along Fleet and look at the EMPTY spaces above The banks and other shops, Would it not be a good idea to redevelope these into a hotel and or apartments.

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  • TopMinstrel  |  July 30 2014, 10:45AM

    It is interesting to note that the 'MAYOR' supports Regeneration in the Town yet ignore the degeneration of the main Shopping area

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  • TopMinstrel  |  July 30 2014, 10:29AM

    THIS MUST BE THE CRAZIEST IDEA TORBAY COUNCILLORS HAVE EVER HAD. A 4 Star hotel, plus apartments. Two thoughts, Torbay needs a Top quality 5 Star Hotel. Who the heck in their right mind would want to stay or an Apartment over looking the Harbour when you coinsider the antics of the degenerates on almost every night of the week in that area. Do the Clowncil intend to make Torbay like every other seaside town where these so called ''redevelopements'' have turned area's into junk yards and Saturday night vomit baths. IT IS NOT THE HARBOUR THAT NEEDS REDEVELOPING, have a look at Fleet Walk and Union Street, and Paignton and Brixham, and see the amount of shops in desparate need of repair, cleaning, tidying up, and or closing down. GET THAT SORTED FIRST then maybe we will attract the right kind of people who will want to be here and MAKE TORBAY GREAT AGAIN.

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  • iseveryidused  |  July 25 2014, 12:27PM

    Just noticed a nice picture on another Herald article: http://tinyurl.com/pr8tvc6 I wonder if the Redcliffe planners had to deal with the same naysayers, building a tall building next to the coast decimating peoples views of the sea?

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  • iseveryidused  |  July 25 2014, 10:55AM

    The idea of valet parking for the hotel is ridiculous. Firstly, the hotel NEEDS guaranteed spaces for its clients cars, which can only be met by having its own private car park. If I were a wealthly client in a £100K car, I wouldn't like it parked an insecure car park with no staff members on-site. Marina users, loading and unloading their equipment, what do you propose they do?

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  • AlanGriffey  |  July 25 2014, 10:28AM

    Atthebeach | July 24 2014, 7:50PM----"Alan Griffey, obviously as a representative of Friends of The Earth you oppose any kind of development."---- That's news to me! I'm for appropriate development in the right place. The whole world has high rise hotels crammed down onto their watersides. (Notice the sea front behind the reporter on the televised world cup football coverage from Brazil.) Does beautiful Torbay seafront have to follow everybody else? What has that policy done for the Spanish economy? --- "against all development" --- far from it! - I'd be in favour of a 24 storey block of residential flats on the Factory Row / Temperence St. area as a way of regenerating the town centre. Got the idea when seeing the same when leaving Paddington Station on the train recently. And that in a built up inland area wasn't blocking anybody's view.

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  • spindleshanks  |  July 25 2014, 9:57AM

    Two questions I would like answers to. The first is when was the Abbey Sands development (as approved and now built, i.e. split 50/50 residential/holiday accommodation) ever put out to public consultation? Point being it would appear Torbay Council have their own way of approving schemes if they think they can get away with it. Given the lease debacle between MDL and Torbay Council with regard to the Pavilion in recent years, the second question is why does the mayor and the TDA believe handing over the heart of Torquay to a private developer for 250 years all for the sake of a £2 million repair bill for the Pavilion seem either sensible or value for money?