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

TOLL HOUSE (Torquay Esplanade)

No Opinion

Having supported the original development for the extension of the Toll House into a restaurant the Torbay Council lease was recalled from the developer and we await new plans from the Council itself concerning this derelict listed building.

CHURCHILLS INN (formerly a hotel on Babbacombe Downs)

No Opinion

We are aware that plans to redevelop this former hotel into 14 apartments with a restaurant/cafe were turned down by the planning committee in 2016 and the building still remains unused.  There had been a new proposal for an existing restaurateur to extend into the ground floor area on a temporary lease but to date this has not occurred we are pursuing developments in the wish to bring this building back into use.

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 has now been given and demolition has been completed.

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.

COUNTRY HOUSE INN (ELLACOMBE)

No Opinion

The Society are aware that houses are to be built on the car park of the Inn and that apartments will be part of the Inn.  The houses are currently being built.

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 the Torquay Town Centre regeneration scheme. The latest information is for the car park to be developed into a student accommodation centre. ( 300 overseas students). The education provider has not yet been named and the Society are awaiting sight of the formal plan which will then be put before its membership. The major concern at present must be the loss of essential car parking for shoppers and the impact on small businesses.

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 has now got full planning consent.  We understand that an early start is being suggested by Torbay Council and we endorse that suggestion as this building has been derelict for far too long.

 SOUTH DEVON HOTEL (ST MARGARETS ROAD)

Support the Proposal

Originally purchased by McCarthy & Stone the Society were asked to comment on those plans when we came out in favour of their scheme. When McCarthy & Stone withdrew  the site went to auction and was purchased by local firm McCarthy Contracting and Development Ltd. Their new plans have now been adopted and agreed by Torbay Council and we understand that there is to be a start made in the near future

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 2017 for an indefinite period in order that plans for its future can be made.  The Society hope that there will be modernisation of the historic building although we are aware that planning permission has already been given for apartments on the rear of the site  (the old tennis courts.)  We are in touch with the architects and await sight of the new plans.

TORRE MARINE APARTMENTS

No Opinion

A Bournemouth developer has purchased this site and is seeking to build 75 apartments – some social housing – planning application number 2016-1047.

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 understand a start will be made on this project during late February 2018.

SLADNOR PARK (Land at Maidencombe)

No Opinion

We are aware that plans are afoot for new housing to be built at Sladnor Park but to date no plans have been obtained.  This will be monitored.

NEW HOTEL PROPOSED AT THE TORQUAY TERRACE CAR PARK

No Opinion

We are aware that plans are being proposed by Torbay Council for the provision of a new hotel on the Terrace Car Park as part of the regeneration of Torquay Town Centre.  Sadly this would be in competition with the private sector hotels currently being proposed for Torwood Street and Torquay Harbouside (incorporating the Pavilion as its concourse)

STOODLEY KNOLL ESTATE

Support the Proposal

One of the largest remaining open green spaces left in Torquay which also includes the old Stoodley Knowle Convent school and chapel.  Having attended various meetings with the architect and the Neighbourhood Forum and put plans before our membership, currently the Society are in favour of the proposals to date.  These will change as this large project progresses although Listed Buildings will be retained.

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 (rear of old Rossiters store)

Support the Proposal

Plans for 32 apartments on land at the rear of the Rossiters building would incorporate the three upper floors of Rossiters.  Demolition on the site has already commenced.

HARBOURLIGHT RESTAURANT (PAIGNTON HARBOUR QUAY)

Support the Proposal

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 open shortly.

BROADSANDS – NEW BISTRO

No Opinion

New plans are being proposed to replace the “dated and delapidated” waterfront restaurant leisure building on Broadsands Esplanade.  The new proposal is for a more modern looking bistro building with outdoor sun terraces for diners.  When plans are obtained they will be put before our members at the next open meeting.

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)

Support the Proposal

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 forover a decade this former nightclub having been purchased by a London based company Floorsave, has now been resold to the Fragrance Group who wish to add it to their portfolio of the Parke Hotel (next door) the Palace Hotel Torquay and the Corbyn Head Hotel Torquay, (currently trading).

THE PARK HOTEL PAIGNTON ESPLANADE

No Opinion

Having been closed as an existing hotel and boarded up this building is now in the hands of the Fragrance Group and we await new plans for the development.  We are talking with the architects and we hope to have a meeting with the company shortly.

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 and Torbay Council has now appointed an independent consultant to produce a Business Plan by the end of March 2018.  After that date we will take our member’s view on any proposals put forward.

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.  We also understand that there is to be a new Lidl foodstore and a new Marks & Spencer food store somewhere near this site.

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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