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Plans for 2 major hotels set to be approved.

Monday, November 25th, 2019 6:48am

By Ed Oldfield, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Image: Kay Elliott. Hotel proposed for the site of The Lighthouse nightclub at Paignton

One in Torquay and one in Paignton.

The applications are to demolish and replace the Palace Hotel at Babbacombe in Torquay and the Lighthouse nightclub on Paignton seafront.

Both projects are being developed by the Singapore-based Fragrance Group as part of its estimated £100m investment in Torbay.

Plans from the group have already been approved to replace the Park Hotel at Paignton and the Corbyn Head Hotel on Torquay seafront.

Torbay Council’s planning committee will consider the two new applications at a meeting today (Monday 25th November)

Councillors are being advised to allow both schemes with a series of conditions and legal agreements.

The application to replace the Palace Hotel would see a new 248-bed five-star hotel on nine floors, with 38 houses built on former tennis courts.

The hotel would have a spa, roof-top bar and conference facilities for 500 delegates.

The development would replace the now-closed hotel based on a villa built for the Bishop of Exeter in 1841 on coastal land overlooking Anstey’s Cove and next to Walls Hill.

A report to the committee said there had been 19 representations in support and 19 objections.

The council’s economic development company TDA, formerly the Torbay Development Agency, supports both schemes.

It estimates the new hotel at Babbacombe would provide 248 full-time equivalent jobs and between 40 and 70 indirect jobs, and estimates visitor spending of £29m a year.

The report says: “The proposed hotel has the potential to be a significant destination in its own right, with its facilities, location and design being key attributes. 

“The redevelopment of the site is likely to act as a catalyst for further regeneration within the Bay and send a clear signal to other potential investors that Torquay is a first-class destination for tourists and residents alike.”

The scheme for the site of the closed Lighthouse nightclub on Esplanade Road at Paignton is next to the £14m Park Hotel where planning permission has been granted for a building with 161 bedrooms.

The Lighthouse application is for a six-level hotel with 119 beds at the corner of Esplanade Road and Garfield Road overlooking Paignton Green near the pier.

It would have a gym, restaurant and bar with terraced outdoor dining and 19 parking spaces.

The TDA said it estimated the hotel would provide 39 direct full-time equivalent jobs and six indirectly, with visitors spending around £3m a year. 

The Fragrance Group says the hotel on the Park Hotel site will operate under the Mercure brand, and the Lighthouse replacement would be under the Ibis Styles brand, both run by global operator Accor Hotels.

A report said there had been 14 objections, seven comments in support and one judged to be neutral on the Lighthouse scheme.

The Paignton Neighbourhood Forum says the council needs to take into account potential parking problems caused by inadequate spaces at the two hotels.

Councillors are being recommended to delegate approval of both schemes to the assistant director of planning and transport after resolving outstanding issues and securing legal agreements on infrastructure payments.

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