Planning

What we do at the local level

The Torbay Civic Society Committee regularly monitor the local Council’s public planning notices to watch for any changes that might effect the built heritage, open green spaces, parks or the environment.

Where there is a concern about some change of use, the demolition of a building or a new build that is seen as important in heritage terms to the area, the Committee will put their views before the Planning Committee in order that this can be taken into consideration at the time the Council makes any firm decision. Members of the Committee also meet with Planning Officers from time to time and will undertake site visits where this is deemed necessary. Obviously if the proposed planning issue is highly controversial, in addition to the above action the society will use the media to put forward its views to the general public.

Members of the Civic Society are regularly updated on any actions taken on their behalf by the Committee, firstly by direct information given at our Society events and secondly using the members’ Newsbrief publication which is issued two or three times a year. Sometimes, especially where public land is involved, the Committee will create a survey form for circulation to its members in order to get written confirmation of their opinion on any given subject.

In extreme cases where a planning decision is taken which seems to fly in the face of all that Torbay stands for, the Committee may take legal advice, use the Ombudsman or put in an official appeal for consideration by the local Planning Committee. In two instances during recent years the Committee have challenged Torbay Council on whether or not Covenants put in place by past benefactors can be over ridden without there being full consultation with the electorate. In these many ways the monitoring of planning matters form a crucial, if not a major, part of the formal activities of this Society.

Torquay

ABBEY SANDS (APARTMENTS – (Floors Two and Three)

Support the Proposal

Having supported this development for many years the only outstanding controversy remains the floors that are subject to a Torbay Council proviso for holiday letting. The Society believe that to complete the redevelopment it would seem expedient to grant permanent living in the remaining apartments which are currently unused.

BLUE CONIFERS HOTEL (BABBACOMBE DOWNS ST MARYCHURCH)

Support the Proposal

This is the second major development by Renaissance Ltd (the first being on the old Library site at Paignton). This project involves demolition of the hotel and a new rebuild of 9 luxury apartments on the site. Having supported the original plans from the outset the amended plans were similarly put before our membership and once again the Society wrote to Planning to give community support.

CHURCHILLS RETIREMENT LIVING (WELLSWOOD)

Support the Proposal

This is the site of the old Gleneagles Hotel in Asheldon Road Wellswood. The Society supported the first plans which were refused and the second plans which were accepted and the building is about 80% complete. Our membership look forward to making a first visit to this ‘supported living luxury apartment’ building.

IMPERIAL HOTEL (PARKHILL ROAD)

No Opinion

Originally the only 5 star hotel in the Westcountry, this hotel has been awaiting new development for a long time. Now purchased by Mr & Mrs Brownsword, who we understand, are to undertake a major upgrading of the hotel and other changes. The Society are awaiting plans which we hope we can support.

LYMINGTON ROAD CAR PARK

No Opinion

Originally designated as a site for a new supermarket latest news is that the Torbay Council have designated the site as part of a Torquay town centre regeneration project. The latest news sees the car park being redeveloped into an educational accommodation centre for up to 300 overseas students. The education provider has not yet been named and the Society are awaiting the formal plans which will be put before its membership. The major concern at present must be the loss of essential parking for shoppers into Torquay town centre.

OLD B-Q BUILDING AT TORRE PLUS ZION CHAPEL

Support the Proposal

This development has already received full planning permission for a change of use at the B & Q building, the old Plymouth Brethren Chapel (now a gym), and the Zion Chapel opposite. Having seen the plans the Society membership were not opposed to this development which does not involve demolition on this site.

OLD SOUTH DEVON HOTEL (ST MARGARETS ROAD)

No Opinion

Originally purchased by McCarthy & Stone the Society were asked to comment on the plans and we came out in favour of the original scheme. With the departure of McCarthy & Stone due to the non financial viability of their scheme the site went to auction and was purchased by local firm McCarthy Contracting and Development Ltd. The new plans are currently at the pre application stage and we will comment when these are available.

PALACE HOTEL BABBACOMBE ROAD TORQUAY

No Opinion

The hotel has been purchased by the Fragrance Group – a Singaporian Investment Company – who have incorporated  Fragance UK = Torquay Ltd as their wholly owned subsidiary.  The present 141 bedroomed hotel will close on July 31st for an indefinite period in order that work can start.  The Society hope that there will be new investment to modernise the historic building

PAVILION AND NEW COMPLEX AT HARBOURSIDE

Support the Proposal

A £32m scheme to build 11 storey apartment building and a new hotel plus full restoration of the historic Torquay Pavilion. From the outset of the campaign to develop this site the Society have consistently supported provided the Pavilion was retained. This scheme now has full planning permission having been through the Planning Development Committee twice.

PIER POINT RESTAURANT (Torquay Esplanade)

Support the Proposal

The idea of a second storey on the restaurant was supported by the Society although since then the owners have decided to defer the start date of the development which we understand will now be done in one major build and not in two stages as originally planned.

SHEDDON HALL HOTEL

Support the Proposal

New plans put before the public and our members were well received. Planning permission supported and has now been granted. Four new apartments within the old Villa, three new town houses, two new cottages and ample parking (19 spaces) all on site.

THE RIVIERA HOTEL (formerly Rainbow House Hotel) Belgrave Road

No Opinion

New owners Mr Brett and Mrs Jo Powis also own the Lincombe Hall Hotel and what was The Sefton on Babbacombe Downs. Upgrading of the building is taking place . Should any planning application need support we look forward to being involved.

SCALA BUILDING (TORWOOD STREET)

No Opinion

Currently being converted into two new nightclubs the Society made no comment on the change which likely are not subject to planning permission.

STOODLEY KNOWLE ESTATE

No Opinion

One of the largest remaining green spaces left in Torquay which includes the old Stoodley Knowle Convent school and chapel. The estate is subject to an auction and to date we have no details on any specific developments for this large piece of land in what is still a sensitive conservation area.

TORRE MARINE (FINAL FRONT SITE)

No Opinion

This is the remaining part of the old South Devon College site at Torre where originally shops were to be established. The right hand part of the site was sold to McCarthy & Stone who have now sold it to Pierfront Developments and they are seeking to build 75 one and two bedroom apartments on the site. Torbay Council are currently building a large children’s playpark on the remaining part of the site. The society have not formally commented on any of these changes to date.

TORQUAY MAGISTRATES COURT

No Opinion

Having supported the campaign to keep Torquay Magistrates Court open, the news that it is to close on September 1st 2017 means the campaign is lost. Plans for this site will be closely monitored as the building is of historic interest.

TORQUAY UNITED FOOTBALL GROUND (PLAINMOOR)

No Opinion

The possibility that Torbay Council would sell the lease has been averted. Had the purchase been allowed and the land sold off for housing Torquay United would have had to find a new home which would probably have been opposed by supporters. It seems that the whole idea at least for now has been shelved

TORWOOD STREET REDEVELOPMENT

Support the Proposal

A major £14m redevelopment of lower Torwood Street involving demolition of the existing shops and construction of a huge complex involving new shops on the ground floor, a major hotel on the middle floors and office accommodation on all the higher floors. Society have consistently supported this scheme.
Latest news is that the developer wants to start at the earliest opportunity and providing all outstanding planning conditions are met this could be September 2017.

Paignton

CLAYLANDS BUSINESS PARK

No Opinion

Torbay Development Agency (TDA), have already intimated that this will be their next major brownfield business site in Torbay and we await their plans

CLEVELAND COURT

Support the Proposal

Renaissance Ltd are to build an apartment complex at Cleveland Road Paignton. Plans for this, their third development in the Bay, was put before our members and was supported. Society has written to the Planning Dept to support the amended scheme.

HARBOURLIGHT RESTAURANT (PAIGNTON HARBOUR QUAY)

No Opinion

Torbay Harbour Company is to invest half a million pounds to update and expand the existing first floor restaurant and add a large balcony on the sea facing side. On the ground floor new retail outlets and a cafe are to be provided Sea level conditions critical to Health & Safety.

COYDE HOUSING (WATERSIDE)

No Opinion

Our understanding is that there is a pre application project for 3 buildings on this site which is at the lower part of the plot at Waterside (adjacent to the cut on Dartmouth Road).

EPIC

No Opinion

Torbay Council are to build a Hi-tech Centre at the former Bookers site at Devonshire Park as part of the Council’s wish for Torbay to become renowned for encouraging employment in the area of modern technology. Currently no plans available.

HALF MOON INN (TORBAY ROAD)

No Opinion

This major public house on Torquay Road has been closed for some time. Our understanding is that it is once again up for sale being a large redevelopment site. We look forward to this site, opposite the entrance to the Oldway estate, being developed as soon as possible.

INGLEWOOD FARM (BRIXHAM ROAD)

No Opinion

Latest major housing application by developer Abacus Projects/Deeley Freed Estates covering a mixed use development on 70 acres of land west of the A3022 Brixham Road at Goodrington. Having seen the initial plans the Society will continue to monitor progress of this huge development that is still at the public consultation stage.

OLD POLICE STATION (OLDWAY ROAD)

No Opinion

This site purchased by McCarthy Contracting & Development Ltd, on Southfield Road, was originally the Paignton Police Station. Now demolished, and at a pre application stage the new plans should shortly be available to the Society.

THE LIGHTHOUSE, PAIGNTON ESPLANADE

No Opinion

After being empty for some time this former nightclub has been purchased by a London based company Floorsave, who are retailers and wholesalers of wood flooring. The Society hope to be able to support any new plans when these are made available for public scrutiny

OLDWAY ESTATE (MANSION AND GARDENS)

No Opinion

With the loss of Akkeron (a company we had consistently supported) a new working party has been set up by Torbay Council, on which we are represented. The challenge now is to find a new use for the Mansion and other buildings as well as allowing the public permanent access to the site which has always been an inherent condition of the original covenants. The public gardens and mansion are listed.

PARKFIELD (PAIGNTON ESPLANADE)

Against

There have been two major proposals to move Torbay School to Parkfield and we formally opposed both schemes on the basis that the covenants concerning access for the general public would be broken and that a school for children with special needs would need very secure fenced accommodation for their protection.

PAIGNTON PICTURE HOUSE

Support the Proposal

As one of the initial supporters to this new refurbishment scheme Society members have not only visited the Picture House but also supported the planning process and the grant scheme. The challenge now is for the remaining financial challenges to be met so that the project can be completed and the Picture House reopened in its former glory.

PAIGNTON HOSPITAL – PROPOSED CLOSURE

Against

Having been a supporter of the Save Paignton Hospital campaign mounted by the Paignton Hospital League of Friends from the outset. The Society remain totally opposed to either the closure or sale of Paignton Hospital on the grounds that it was provided to the people of Paignton by the famous Singer Family prior to it being sold to Torbay Council for a nominal sum. With covenants to protect it as a public facility the Society believe this valuable asset in the town centre should not be demolished.

SOUTH DEVON COLLEGE (UNIVERSITY LONG RD)

Support the Proposal

New grant funding has been received from the South West local enterprise partnership (SW LEP) who will help establish a new £17m building on Long Road offering students education in App design, film and digital media and gaming concepts. Pre application plans are at an early stage although we do support this new challenge for the College

Brixham

CENTRAL CAR PARK AT BRIXHAM

No Opinion

The major site in Brixham that in the past was designated for a national supermarket but is currently part of Torbay Council’s regeneration plan which includes Brixham town centre.

CHURSTON GOLF COURSE (BLOOR HOMES)

No Opinion

The Society, having supported Bloor Homes in its original proposals for new homes, a retirement home and a new Clubhouse at the Brixham road site await the revised plans following planning refusal after a controversial public consultation.

PREMIER MARINA COMPANY AT NOSS – KINGSWEAR

Support the Proposal

This major application is supported by the Society who have been working closely with South Devon College concerning its new proposed Marine Academy which is an integral part of the overall project. The new Academy for apprentices will be phase 1 of the project following which will be a new waterside hotel, an expansion of berths and a new berth stack plus on site services for boat owners including a major lifting service. Eventually there will be new houses created at the rear of the site. Plans are due to be submitted to planners within the month

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