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Ted Baker fashion gurus in Torquay town centre boost

By Herald Express  |  Posted: October 05, 2012

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THE company behind Torquay's long-awaited Torwood Street development has changed ownership.

It has been revealed two directors of fashion giants Ted Baker have become the new owners of New English Riviera Estates.

The pair have been involved as private investors in the £20million shops, restaurants and hotel project since it started in 2008.

Company records show that they became directors in the summer.

Now developers Havard Tisdale — also currently working on the Palm Court project — have revealed the company ownership has changed hands.

New owners Raymond Kelvin and Lindsay Page are said to be keen to get on with the high profile project.

The developers say the Torwood Street scheme has proved more difficult to get off the ground because of the need to pre-let to tenants before work can start. It has been described as 'like herding cats' in the past.

Torbay's deputy mayor David Thomas (pictured) said: "If this is something that helps to bring the site forward quicker I certainly applaud it."

In a statement, Havard Tisdale said: "There has recently been a change in the ultimate ownership of New Riviera Estates Ltd in favour of the private investors who have been Havard Tisdale's long-term partners since 2008.

"Our partners, who are now the directors of the company, have funded the Torwood Street project since 2008. They have confirmed to Havard Tisdale that they remain committed to developing the site in the very near future. Havard Tisdale looks forward to seeing the transformation of this important town centre site into a high quality landmark development, which will add vibrancy and life to Torwood Street and to the wider harbour area."

Director Peter Tisdale said: "The new owners have been involved since the beginning so this is not a fundamental change, effectively it is the same people.

"This should not effect progress on the site, it can only help. They are still very excited by the project."

Cllr Thomas said: "It has been a concern to me that any major developer with two projects on the go tend to put all their efforts into one particular project. We have been seeing great progress on the Palm Court."

Mr Tisdale said with work now well under way on Palm Court, which they will call Abbey Crescent, their attention has been on that project.

"The work on Palm Court has been a slow process but that is because of the general challenges faced when you are demolishing a large building in a busy area in a town centre site next to a main road," he said. "It is a painstaking operation as we have to be very careful."

He said they were still in the process of resolving the party wall issue with a neighbouring owner.

"We are just following the standard process and hope to have a conclusion in the not too distance future so we can move on to the next stage."

He confirmed that until the party wall process was completed they were limited in the demolition they could carry out.

Steve Parrock, chief executive of Torbay Development Agency, said: "We look forward to working with the new owners, and anticipate a new impetus and momentum.

"John Harvard and Peter Tisdale have successfully brought forward the redevelopment of the former Palm Court Hotel and we wish them every success."

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  • RivieraPalms  |  October 06 2012, 10:03PM

    Well what you call realistic looks like negativity to me. I'm a resident of Torquay that has despaired of this town many times because nothing ever seems to get done, just alot of talk and then objections to any proposals. Thats why I'm happy that Abbey Sands is finally under way, and I do think it looks good too. You need to remember that Palm Court has sat empty for many years now and the site has been a matter of urgent regeneration, also there are many variables that will determine whether the new complex is a success or not and the fact that its been built with private money in such hard economic times as you've mentioned is a big vote of confidence. Personally I'd have liked to have seen restaurants, then full use of the already approved planning permission for a 7 storey building been made with offices above. I don't think apartments are suitable for that exact location but thats just me. I bet the offices would have been snapped up in no time, there are plenty of hills to build apartments on. It surprises me that I've heard in the past about a lack of large office space in the Bay and yet when a hotel closes down and stays empty and the council finally considers giving approval for apartments why no one proposes offices for these sites especially if they are in or very close to the town centre. Would it not help create job space in Torquay and bring more people into the town everyday?

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  • reptor2456  |  October 06 2012, 9:59PM

    Whatever happened to re developing cross-ways in paignton after Torbay Council sold it and couldn't give two f*cks about it.

  • Sinjis_Things  |  October 06 2012, 6:17PM

    I am not being negative Riviera Palms I'm being realistic. There is plenty of empty property in Torquay already all this place will do is add to it. What you seem to have forgotten is that the country is in the midst of a major recession which shows very little chance of resolving itself quickly and Torbay has been affected quite a lot by it. Also the way you come across in you postings makes it look as if you are part of the publicity team for the company which is responsible for the development.

  • RivieraPalms  |  October 06 2012, 12:11PM

    I like the look of the building alot, but it is subjective. As far as will it look clean and tidy, whether the flats will be unsold and empty, and wether it will be a traget for vandals and squatters... I have no idea because I dont have a crystal ball that only throws out negative visions! If you don't like the look thats one thing, but all the rest you wrote is just rubbish. This is a wonderful thing for Torquay, its about time, and it will be really good to have restaurants down there. I guess the rest of us won't be seeing you.

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  • Sinjis_Things  |  October 06 2012, 11:50AM

    It looks like some of those horrible concrete monstrosities that were built in the 1960s. Will it look so clean and tidy when, because of the recession, the flats are unsold and empty and is a target for vandals and squatters.

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  • RivieraPalms  |  October 06 2012, 11:02AM

    I forgot to add that anyone looking at those pictures, if you click on the picture itself you can view them fullscreen.

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  • RivieraPalms  |  October 06 2012, 10:58AM

    I think its a shame that the original plans were turned down and that the council listened too much in my opinion to objections. While some objections about the design of the building may have been valid and certainly important to all of us I think that the objections to the height of the building were misguided. There was nothing wrong with building an 11 storey building down near the harbour especially since there's only a car park behind it so its not like it's blocking anyone's views. There are three 9 storey buildings built on the hill just over the other side of the road above the inner harbour so I think that it would have fit in nicely. I think an harbour is an appropriate place for buildings of a reasonable size and 11 storeys isn't that tall really. When the building was redesigned down to 9 storeys we lost the rooftop restaurant which I think would have been a great asset to Torquay and a wonderful thing, I really am disappointed that by redesigning down by 12 meters (which then got planning approval), we lost something so exciting. I personally would have liked to have the extra 12 meters and the restaurant which would have looked out over the harbour. Torquay doesn't have anything like that and I think its the perfect place for that kind of development. I wish the developers would reapply for the original height and bring the rooftop back since at the time back in 2010 Torbay's Building Heights Strategy hadn't been completed and although when it was finished it called for most buildings across the Bay to be no taller than 3 storeys, it did say that taller buildings could be built if they were agreed upon by the Council and relevant committees and that they could be built particularly in town centres and coastal locations. Maybe a slightly larger hotel with that kind of rooftop offering would help to find an operator to come on board. It couldn't hurt and it would be good for Torquay in my opinion. Anyway Good luck to all involved. BTW If anyone wants to look at some large pictures of the new building that is replacing the old Palm Court (built by the same firm) these below are some from flickr and the building is very impressive. I'll post the links and I just want to mention an error in this report which states that the new building will be called Abbey Crescent but that was changed to Abbey Sands which is confirmed at both the consultation online website and Torbay Councils website. Here's the pics of what is replacing the Palm court: Street Level view: http://tinyurl.com/97yyvf5 Side View from shedden Hill: http://tinyurl.com/8bobqg5 Front View from Beach: http://tinyurl.com/8dev6q3

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  • The Marstan  |  October 04 2012, 11:29AM

    Re: The Palm Court development. Let us hope the party wall issue is resolved quickly, this is a great development in my view and just what Torquay needs. I also hope that the owner/"slum landlord" of the adjacent properties might decide to so something about his properties. They are in an appalling state, being so prominent they let down the area and he should be thoroughly ashamed that they have deteriorated into this condition through lack of maintenance. Presumably he is collecting rent from the businesses that occupy them? Restored they could be fairly attractive Victorian properties. There is no excuse.

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