Fresh new plans for the redevelopment of the Marina Development Limited car park and refurbishment of the Pavilion have been submitted to Torbay Council.

Following feedback from the community and Torbay’s independent Design Review Panel the plans have been revised and the development now achieves a more sympathetic relationship to listed buildings in Vaughan Parade and the harbour generally.

The developers, Nicolas James Group, have also taken on board comments regarding the previous tower being poorly proportioned and the new plans show a more slender structure. Feedback on Cary Green has also been considered and the plans show this area to be designed and landscaped to encourage public use for when it is not being used for seasonal and overspill car parking.

Revised drawings of the proposed 60 bed hotel, 45 apartments, shops, cafe and spa are now available to be viewed on the council’s website - Details of a public exhibition to be held at the Pavilion building will be available soon.

Executive Lead for Strategic Planning, Housing and Energy, Councillor David Thomas, said: “Following the number of concerns that emerged during consultation on the original scheme and comments by the Design Review Panel in October it is great to see that the Nicolas James Group and its designers, local architects Kay Elliott, have responded so positively to the Design Review Panel report. We will now seek the views of local people and work with statutory consultees such as English Heritage and look to get the proposal considered by the council’s Development Management Committee in January or February."

David Jobbins, from the Nicolas James Group, said “We have listened carefully to the Design Review Panel and amended our scheme accordingly. The latest proposals represent an exciting and viable addition to Torquay which will result in the regeneration of the harbour side including the full restoration of the Pavilion enabling it to once again be enjoyed by the wider public. No other scheme will deliver these benefits together with up to 200 jobs and an exciting and vibrant waterfront. The Council has proved through the Abbey Sands development that contemporary design can work very successfully in the Bay and Harbour Hotels are committed to providing a high quality hotel which will support the local economy and Torbay’s tourism industry."

The Design Review Panel was set up in 2007 to advise and ensure the highest quality of new major developments in Torbay. The Panel is apolitical, independent and includes professional experts in architecture, urban design, public realm, viability, highway design and energy.

The Panel has reviewed this scheme five times and, following criticism in the past, asked for a confident and exemplary development for this prime location. The Panel congratulated the design and development team for making considerable improvements and feel that a taller, slender apartment building would provide a confident and proud landmark which would be capable of winning national architectural awards. The Panel also expressed its confidence that the local setting can support a building of this scale – and indeed, could benefit from it. In relation to Cary Green, the Panel considers that the space is now a much clearer proposition. Whilst the ornamental gardens will be lost, there is a much stronger urban quality and the potential of restoring greater activity to Palk Street. The Panel’s full comments are also available on Torbay Council’s website (

The new plans will be discussed at the Development Management Committee in the new year where all comments, objections and petitions received to date will be evaluated and included in the overall assessment of the proposal. Torbay Council advises that it is not necessary for objectors to comment again on the scheme unless they consider that the revisions to the scheme have successfully overcome their concerns.

Notes to Editor:

Torbay Council was ahead of its time in setting up the Panel, as the more recent National Planning Policy Framework now gives a clear remit for developers and Design Review Panels (DRP) on design. The Torbay Panel can be judged by the influence it has had on some major schemes – the award winning Beechfield development in Edginswell; the also award winning stunning Abbey Sands development on Torquay Seafront; the workshops and business units at Cockington Court; and, at a smaller scale, the new Co-op store in Chelston. The DRP has added huge value to these schemes and many others.

News archive