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.  Planning consent now achieved and demolition progressing

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. Sachs Lodge now complete and 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.

NEW TOWN HOUSES ON NEWTON ROAD (P2017/0406)

Against

Plans have been submitted for 12 town houses to be built on the high wall of Newton Road which was formerly a long garden of properties that have been demolished.  Having seen the plans the height of the houses (3 to 4 levels) would seriously impact on one of the most significant buildings in this part of Torquay – The Knoll – which sits alongside Barton Road and was once the home of the Shackleton family.  We would not object if the new houses were two storey homes but historically to see the 18th century  Knoll disappear behind a modern complex would, we believe, be harmful to the known and well documented historic landscape.

COUNTRY HOUSE INN (ELLACOMBE)

No Opinion

The Society await detailed plans for the redevelopment of this site.  Country House is a listed building.

LYMINGTON ROAD CAR PARK

No Opinion

Originally designated as a site for a new supermarket latest news is that the Torbay Council have now designated the site as part of a Torquay town centre regeneration scheme. The latest information could see 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 sight of the formal plan which will be put before its membership. The major concern at present must be the loss of essential car parking for shoppers.

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 in favour of this redevelopment which does not involve demolition of the building.

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 their scheme. With the departure of McCarthy & Stone due to the non financial viability of the scheme the site went to auction and was purchased by local firm McCarthy Contracting and Development Ltd. Their new plans are currently awaiting a decision by the council in November.  The Society are supporting this new McCarthy plan

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  closed 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 although we are aware that planning permission has already been given for apartments on the site of the tennis courts at the rear of the building.  We await sight of any new plans.

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 has consistently supported the large development which provides for  the Pavilion to be restored and retained.   With full planning permission having been granted some judicial reviews brought were unsuccessful although a third is now being threatened.

PIER POINT RESTAURANT (Torquay Esplanade)

Support the Proposal

The idea of a second storey on the restaurant was supported by the Society and now that the final plans have been submitted we await a positive outcome from council and understand that the new build could commence after the 2018 season.

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.  We await an early start to this project.

THE RIVIERA HOTEL (formerly Rainbow House Hotel) Belgrave Road

No Opinion

New owners Mr Brett and Mrs Jo Powis are currently upgrading  the building which does not apparently need planning approval. We look forward to assisting with any planning application if required.

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.

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 Company would have had to find a new home.

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 once the   outstanding planning conditions have been met. Start should 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, were put before our members and support was given. The Society has written to the Planning Dept in support of the amended scheme.

BISHOPS PLACE APARTMENTS

Support the Proposal

Plans for 32 apartments on land at the rear of the old Rossiters building and for the three upper floors of Rossiters have been submitted.  A planning decision is awaited although demolition of the site has been started.

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.  Planning permission has now been achieved.

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 Centre

Support the Proposal

An Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC) is to be built by Torbay Council to support the needs of the electronics industry.  The building will provide research and development facilities to assist high tech start ups developing state of the art technology.  The plans have been put before the Society membership and we have no objections.

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, new amended plans are being submitted and having seen these the Society remain in support of this complex.

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 Oldway Mansion are formally listed by Heritage England.

TORBAY BUSINESS PARK NEW BUILDING

No Opinion

Torbay Council are to build a new factory for the Totnes based Graphics Company who wish to relocate to Torbay for expansion reasons.  The Society await the new plans.

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.

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 have been submitted to South Hams District Council. A decision is awaited.

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