Torbay Council has expressed disappointment at a developer’s decision to halt plans for a new five-star hotel in the resort. And, he says, he wants to see hard evidence that building the hotel is no longer viable.
The Fragrance Group had drawn up the plans for the luxury hotel on the site of the former Palace Hotel in Babbacombe. The old building was demolished and the site cleared.
Work has already begun on a development of homes that will replace the hotel’s former indoor tennis courts, where Grand Slam winner Sue Barker once honed her skills. But now the Singapore-based leisure group has announced that the new hotel will not be built. It says the economy has changed since the plans were first published before the Covid pandemic, and Torbay now has a surplus of holiday accommodation.
Read more: Man found dead in Exeter after incident called by police
Instead, he wants to build more houses on the site, some of them being “affordable” houses for local families.
The plan for the new hotel had been well received by Torbay Council and the local tourism industry, who said it would be an important and far-reaching addition to Torbay’s attractions and help the bay in its ambitions to become the UK’s number one holiday destination. In a statement, the board said it was “disappointed”.
The site has been empty since 2017 and in 2019 the Fragrance Group applied to redevelop the site with a new 248-bed five-star hotel with spa, conference rooms and parking. He also called for the construction of 38 houses on the site of the tennis courts, saying that the construction of the new houses did not depend on the construction of the hotel.
An alternative proposal now put forward by the group is for another 67 houses on the former hotel site and the remainder of the developable site south of Anstey’s Cove Road. Fragrance recently briefed the board on the challenges they were facing.
David Edmondson, the council’s divisional director of planning, housing and climate emergencies, said: ‘In order to change the current planning permission, the council, through its planning committee, will need to receive validated evidence of the non-viability of the original hotel proposal. .
“The Planning Committee will take this into account when considering any changes to the original application, as well as all relevant planning policies, including the Local Plan and Torquay Neighborhood Plan. Nothing will happen to the area of the site south of Anstey’s Cove Road until revised planning permission is granted.
“However, it should be noted that the 38 properties that already have planning permission will continue to be built in accordance with the original permission.”
Torbay MP Kevin Foster said he was also ‘deeply disappointed’ and added: ‘It’s a shock, potentially ending the possibility of an iconic job-creating development for our bay. of the planning permission application, The Fragrance Group has repeatedly stated that housing on the former tennis courts was only an “facilitative” development for the hotel’s plans. turn on this insurance.
The new Palace Hotel was part of an estimated £150 million investment in Torbay by the Fragrance Group. It has already opened a new Mercure hotel on the Paignton seafront and has another hotel next door nearing completion. He also works at a new hotel in Corbyn Head, but the new Palace development would have been his flagship in the bay.
Announcing the decision to pull the plug, Fragrance spokesman Martin Rogers said: “When we first unveiled the vision for a new Palace hotel with new accommodations four years ago, no one e could have predicted how different the world would be in 2023. on the new housing component of our previous proposals is progressing well, it is clear that the figures for a replacement hotel simply no longer match. Too many things have changed.
Mr Rogers said Torbay Council had recently assessed the bay’s hotel industry and found there was already an oversupply of accommodation. And, he added: “At the same time, we know that many people in the sector here are struggling to recruit enough workers. There are approximately 200 vacancies in the hospitality industry in and around the bay.
“So Torbay is not short of hotel rooms, but what Torbay is short of are houses. There is a housing crisis in the area and our new proposals will help address it. The Fragrance Group remains attached to Torbay.
#Dismay #plans #fivestar #Torquay #hotels #scrapped