THE controversial £20,000 palm tree at the entrance of the Bay will be moved to the entrance of the new link road when it is completed.
In an interview with the Herald Express last week, mayor Gordon Oliver said he is pleased with the Spanish palm at the bottom of Hamelin Way. He said if given the chance to plant another one, he would do it in a heart beat.
Mr Oliver said the palm tree (below) was a shop window on to the Bay and a pleasant welcome sign. He said: "You can't have £400million of capital investment and have a resort which looks down trodden and neglected.
"The palm tree is sponsored and the roundabout has generated £30,000 in revenues for the council."
The palm, which was likened to a giant pineapple, was planted on the roundabout at the junction of the ring road and Riviera Way last autumn.
It cost Torbay Council £7,000 for the tree and £13,000 to bring it over from Spain and revamp the roundabout with grey rocks.
Many people said it was a waste of money at a time when vital frontline services were being hit by the £10million budget cuts Torbay Council is having to make.
Mr Oliver was unrepentant, saying: "I have no regrets. It is a positive palm tree. It is what Torbay is famous for.
"I would do it again and again and again because it shows what a wonderful place to live, work, retire and invest Torbay is."
Mr Oliver said the first impression was very important and many more palm trees would be planted. Some 21 will be planted on the central reservation along Riviera Way and six more on the seafront. Another 35 redwood sequoias will also be planted between the Kingskerswell Garden roundabout and the Edginswell business park after sequoias were rediscovered there following clearing of the roadside vegetation.
Mr Oliver added: "The palm tree will be transported to a permanent spot at the entrance of the new link road when it is complete."