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Sideshoots - associated subjects => The West - but NOT trains in the West => Topic started by: REVUpminster on October 01, 2019, 08:06:18 am

Title: £100million Torbay
Post by: REVUpminster on October 01, 2019, 08:06:18 am
( ( Head Hotel July 2019 East elevation ( by Robert (, on Flickr

Last night Torbay planning committee approved the construction of a new 4* hotel on the site of the Corbyn Head Hotel costing £20m. The vote was 5 for 4 against with the chairman's casting vote winning approval. This hotel had over 500 objections on the planning portal and vociferous protest. The most in recent history.

This is the second hotel from the Fragrance group to be approved. The first is the Park Hotel in Paignton now upgraded to 4* and due to start construction today.

( ( Hotel 117 Bedrooms front elevation in relation to new Park Hotel ( by Robert (, on Flickr

Next to the Park Hotel is another 3*hotel on the derelict (10 years) Lighthouse site. The approval is expected to be a formality as is the 5* Palace Hotel Torquay below on the site of the old Palace Hotel. This has very few objection even from local residents. The four hotels are costing £100m, all by the same Fragrance group.

( ( Palace Hotel West (Babbacombe Road) elevation. ( by Robert (, on Flickr

( ( Palace Hotel East (Seaward) elevation ( by Robert (, on Flickr

One of the reasons for this hotel rush is because of surveys into attendees at conferences and why conferences do not come to Torbay is due to the poor quality of hotels in the area.

With 6 new hotels to be built in the next 3 years there will be a big shake up in accommodation on offer.

Title: Re: £100million Torbay
Post by: grahame on October 09, 2019, 11:50:59 pm
One of the reasons for this hotel rush is because of surveys into attendees at conferences and why conferences do not come to Torbay is due to the poor quality of hotels in the area.

With 6 new hotels to be built in the next 3 years there will be a big shake up in accommodation on offer.

The traditional week away at a UK seaside resort, travelling down and back by trains on successive Saturdays, is long gone.   Never to return (?), or could it return with climate concerns, with the demise of Thomas Cook, and with the UK leaving Europe?

"because of surveys into attendees at conferences" ... has me wondering "how much of the potential market are they?". First guess would be that such business is specialist and patchy, but then I'm currently staying in a hotel with conference centre attached, over 1000 rooms, and already this week their attached centre is hosting the darts champironship and tonight there are also the Fleet Awards.

At the place I'm staying, the car is king.  Drive in (which I have not done) and you come to a roundabout leading off - "car parks to the left of you, car parks to the right of you" and a long drive ahead between the towards hotel reception. "Our entrance is just 350 metres from the Luas at Saggart" the say, really not prominently, on their data - neglecting to tell you it's another 400 metres from that entrance to the hotel reception, a good path much of the way but poorly (not) signposted properly for pedestrians arriving for the first time, and a curious layout in front of the doors which mean that pedestrians are thinking "I can see reception but how do I get there" ... and the answer is by a bit of Jay walking and slipping up to the side.

Why the comment about Dublin?  Because I'm asking about transport arrangements to get all these people to Torquay. Roads ... it's quite a drive from the M5 / via Bristol, and can already get congested.  And from the London direction the A303 has its bottlenecks before it joins the M5 / A38 / A380 near Exeter.   Yes, I am aware of plans to spend a bit (!) of money on the A303, but how and how much does improved transport come in.  I wonder what people would say to extending the hourly London to Bedwyn service to Torquay and Paignton, having the "super fast" pass it with a 2 way passenger transfer at St. David's ... extend the 2nd Cross Country train that turns at Bristol / Exeter to Paignton too ...

Title: Re: £100million Torbay
Post by: REVUpminster on October 10, 2019, 12:02:18 pm
Conference's used to come to Torquay; party political conference too. The Riviera International Centre was built to cater for this but is a bit of a white elephant now. Three of the new hotels will be within walking distance of it as is Torquay Station.

The Palace will be the only 5* hotel in Torquay a couple of miles away and has it's own conference facilities. The Imperial is only 4*. The Park Hotel in Paignton will have spa facilities.

The important factor is this is £100million of private money, apparently small change to the businessman. No government money. Torbay hope it will attract further private money.

The South Devon College is the third biggest employer in Torbay with 700 staff and 10,000 students (I couldn't believe it but they are up for an award). They have a number of campus's from Newton Abbott to a marine campus at the Noss  in Kingswear on the river Dart. The Paignton campus is only half developed halfway through a 15 year building plan and they are into everything from motor mechanics, catering, hotel management, high tech computers, building work, make-up and theatre production with local theatre groups and football coaching with links to Torquay United who train there on an all weather pitch that the college spent £3m on and use the college gymnasium. They are trying to tempt them to move their training ground from Seale Hayne, Newton Abbott.

They can issue degrees and are vying for university status through their links with Plymouth university.

Then there is the big downer, and it's not roads, it's that Torbay has some of the most socially deprived areas in the country. Why? when it has top rated primary schools and three grammar schools. Is it because outside local authorities are buying houses, thousands of houses are being built, and using the plentiful supply of B&B's to house problem families. Most of the customers of the Paignton foodbank are not local. This is a problem not confined to Torbay but other seaside towns such as Blackpool and Margate.

I will add about roads. Never travel on the M5 or A303 on a Friday afternoon.

Title: Re: £100million Torbay
Post by: johnneyw on October 10, 2019, 02:29:50 pm
The illustration of the hotel to be built at the Corbyn Head site looks astonishing..... all that blandness and ugliness in just one building!  :o

Title: Re: £100million Torbay
Post by: REVUpminster on October 10, 2019, 05:47:28 pm
( ( Head Hotel artists impression ( by Robert (, on Flickr

This is the artists impression. It is squeezed in on a very restricted site between road and railway.
It is meant to complement the Tor Abbey complex (below, again on a very restricted site of an old hotel) of restaurants and very expensive flats above designed by the same architects about 5 years ago which at the time was opposed but is now loved and has breathed new life into this part of Torquay. There is about 3/4 mile between the two buildings which include Torquay Station and Tor Abbey.

( ( Abbey Sands ( by Robert (, on Flickr

Title: Re: £100million Torbay
Post by: johnneyw on October 10, 2019, 05:50:32 pm
That looks a lot better than the earlier illustration did.... thank heavens.

Title: Re: £100million Torbay
Post by: REVUpminster on November 25, 2019, 10:43:19 pm
The final two Fragrance group hotels have been approved tonight.

The gamechanger, said tonight by a previous mayor of Torbay, is the 5* Palace in Torquay (up to £50m).  An interesting note was that a previous developer had approved plans to refurbish the existing hotel paying for it with 173 flats on the hotel tennis courts. The Fragrance group are going for complete demolishment, realigning the hotel parallel with the main road and building 38 houses on the same tennis courts.

So that means 6 hotels, two under construction, 1 ready to go and 3 that can now be demolished and rebuilt. These last 4 are The Fragrance Group.

Title: Re: £100million Torbay
Post by: REVUpminster on March 13, 2020, 10:52:04 pm
Update of the 6 hotels
Torwood Street Torquay Hampton by Hilton (entrance in The Terrace): completion expected June 2020
Premier Inn Torquay (entrance in The Terrace opposite the Hampton: delayed by construction problems associated with the car park needing new planning permission for alterations to car park 30 march 2020.
Park Hotel, Paignton (161 beds Mercure Hotel) groundworks to channel underground river. Completion August 2021
Lighthouse Hotel Paignton (119 beds Ibis Hotel) next to Park Hotel groundworks. Completion September 2021
Corbyn Head, Torquay demolition by hand on a restricted site of road and railway.
Palace Hotel, Torquay (248 bed 5* hotel and conference centre plus 38 homes): old hotel under demolition.

Title: Re: £100million Torbay
Post by: REVUpminster on April 20, 2021, 10:22:47 pm
Torquay: Hampton by Hilton, Torwood Street quietly opened today. The hotel interior was being fitted out last March but the June opening has been delayed by covid restrictions. Only open for key workers or business people until 17 May, when covid restrictions willing, to the general public.

Of the the other five hotels, three in Torquay and two in Paignton. The Premier Inn opposite the Hampton has just started ground works. The other two are just cleared sites. The Paignton hotels are well under way with one due to open in August.

Title: Re: £100million Torbay
Post by: REVUpminster on May 20, 2021, 07:45:41 pm
( ( Hotel 18 May 2021 ( by Robert (, on Flickr

Park Hotel 18 may 2021. Topping out soon. Opening put back to January 2022.
Lighthouse next door up to second floor; two more to go.

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