Petition Over Harbourside Area Action Plan

Torquay Harbourside Visitors and subscribers to Talktorbay.com may have read about the controversy created by the information point and petition created in the Torquay Pavilion in October 2010. The petition is an independent initiative created by Jonathan Abery that gives respondents the opportunity to comment on the harbourside development plans*.

The display shows clippings from the Herald Express over the past two years and explain why money from a private developer will be needed to help fund the cost of repairs.

*For information regarding the development plans visit the display in The Pavilion.

For the latest information visit www.torbay.gov.uk/thaapreg27consultationstatement.pdf

Petition Book Comments: (Note: If no name shown, the comment was unsigned. All comments have been transcribed by Jonathan Abery. Where possible the grammar and spelling has not been changed. Apologies for any names spelt incorrectly. Selected entries on this blog may be printed and included in the comments book in the Prom Plans Petition display area in the Torquay Pavilion.)

Comments collected from the Pavilion have been added below in date order.

Please add your own comments in the box at the bottom of this post.

Entries on this blog will be printed and included in a folder in the Prom Plans Petition display area in the Torquay Pavilion.

Update: Nick Bye’s response to harbourside development petition


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  1. Petition Comments says:


    “All for it. Let’s get sorted”. Stan/John Neville. PS: “Let’s not live in the past”.

    “It’s all about time something was done for this part of the harbour”. Initials

    “Who wants two blocks of flats on the seafront?”

    “Agree Torquay needs something but not more flats nor hotels use your brains, anybody can think of that, attractions to draw people back to the bay. 

    “Does Torquay need another hotel?” Unsigned.

  2. Petition Comments says:


    “The new Prom Plans are O.K. but not so sure about another large hotel (parking etc.). Please keep Torquay beautiful!” Mike P, Portsmouth

    “Get rid of the Mayor! Vote him out.” B Bowles

    “An enhanced public space for all would be a better use for the people of Torquay.” Roger Bowles

  3. Petition Comments says:


    “You are joking. Definite NO. Signature illegible

    “Absolutely FOR it and enlarged theatre space.” Signature illegible

    “Yes, anything to improve the seafront.” R L Martin

  4. Petition Comments says:


    “Yes please. Would be wonderful.” E M Dyde

    “Not for me thanks.”

    “YES. People who vote No: How much money have you invested in Torquay. Nick Avery-Jones

    “Yes because it would give Torquay a modern touch.”

    “No, because it is changing Torquay’s original atmosphere.”

    “Defo for it like LOL.” Dean Gaffey

    “Nooo.” Solomon

    “Yes, get it done, you are not afraid to move with the times here, unlike Llandudno.” G L Jones & Family

  5. Petition Comments says:


    “Another block of flats – No.”

    “Yes please because you need to improve it.”

    “It is about time this place moved into the 20th century for sure.”

    “You can’t stand still, you must keep improving of get left behind – yes.”

    “Yes, it’s time to give the harbourside a now look!”

    “I think it will be good. Just look at Rock Walk – what a delight.”

  6. Petition Comments says:


    “Please go ahead, it will be a big boost to the area and economy.” Mike illegible

    “Let’s say yes and close the shops in here, put some hard working tax payers out of work so some rich person can have a sea view and posh shops that only a few can afford to shop in … this is Torquay, over-worked, under-paid, wake up and smell the coffee Nick Bye.”

  7. Petition Comments says:


    “Yes, it will be great – it needs to be done!” William

    “Yes, it needs to be a necessary new project ensuring Torquay continues [to be] a very beautiful place to visit.” Elaine

    “Perhaps we could have somewhere that stayed open for afternoon tea at 4 o’ clock of an afternoon. Unlike the cafe in the Pavillion [sic]. The year is 2010, not 1910. No sympathy for small business people. Welcome the multiples.” R Whittleigh, Torquay

    “It won’t be open at all if it’s flats, dick head!”

    “Let’s sort out the eyesore of Mojo’s, Palm Court, etc, which is on the main seafront, first impressions count.” P Mellish, resident for 63 years

    “let’s restore Palm Court to its former glory. How will two blocks of flats help the economy?” D A

    “This MUST be preserved and restored.” Ros, Australia

    “No, not in this economic clime or ever : it will destroy the town. Nieve [sic] stupidity.” R W Bury
    PS “Look after what you’ve got and preserve it.” RB

  8. Petition Comments says:


    “No!” Initials illegible (comment used 50% of A4 sheet)

    “No way, keep it as it is.” L Tansey

    “No, best leave alone.” R Tansy

    “Yes. Change it. Don’t listen to the above!! Move with the times! Devonians are so set in their ways – change is for the best!”

    “Yes of course!” Kid

    “No.” B L Paignton


  9. Petition Comments says:


    “Yes, speaking as a new ‘working class’ person to the Torbay scene I do believe the area would benefit from some quality alterations.” HB

    “No because for developer to make money!”

    “No to overall plan. Yes to bigger theatre, yes to Pavilion new lease of life. No to more hotels, shops and luxury which will end up empty like all previous developments! Concentrate on tidying up what we already have!” P Nelson

    “No to another hotel. Yes to repair of existing properties. There are already too many empty shops etc in Torquay.” E A

    “No more hotels left empty. Just repair Prom and Pavilion and leave war memorial alone!” R & G Kenford

    “Where are the No Vote signs!”

    “On the wall.”

    “Please keep this building, repair it.” R Anderson

  10. Petition Comments says:


    “Save the Pavilion.”

    “Knock down the Pavilion if you can get permission. It didn’t work as a theatre, skating rink, shopping venue. Redevelop in a sympathetic manner. Put a hotel there. If you can’t knock it down, build round it. Do the popple above not understand about finance? Try and keep up, Torbay.” Tony H

    “Do not turn the Pavilion into a casino! Keep the building as it is and make repairs.” G Collins

    “No to flats, yes to Palm Court redevelopment, yes to larger theatre. P Dadds

  11. Petition Comments says:



    “Against, and we are not luddites or a small minority. The proposed development is out of scale with the seafront. The fenced off area has not yet fallen down!” Evans, Cranley, Solsbro Road, Torquay TQ2 6PF

    “Best to keep it as it is.” Mr Bradford

    “Yes! Move on and go for it!”

    “Yes, go for it, the front is too boring at the moment.”


    “Yes, as long as the Pavilion is saved and restored.” P Whitley

    “Yes. Let’s put some people out of work. Fantastic idea … not.”

    “What about Paignton! The harbourside there is surely a priority – always Torquay, never Paignton or Brixham …”


    “No way. Leave it alone.” Mr Johnson

    “Leave well alone, don’t ruin anything else.” TQ1 3DZ

    “Definitely no – refurbish the elegance of Victorian Torquay as it was – not turn it into Blackpool, Benidorm or Monaco!!!”

    “Yes – the Pavilion is a fabulous building and deserves a fresh purpose – but please not a casino – that could be inside the proposed hotel. The shops overlooking the harbour need a facelift.” TQ1 2HU

    “No [next word indecipherable].”

    “I think the prom need a face lift but no new buildings. A shopping mall should be built in the town, not the harbour. Keep the prom as it is. Just make it safer.” TQ1 1HT

    “Please preserve the Pavilion. Torquay has enough hotels. The prom can be renovated without more building work.”

  12. Petition Comments says:


    “In Germany they build new buildings and ‘front clad’ the new buildings with material from the old buildings. So you could rebuild the Pavilion and other old buildings and make them look like the old ones. Go for the redevelopment. Go for using some of the grass space. Rebuild the prom. Yes to Prom Plans.”

    “No. Save the prom.” D L S

    “A big Yes.” M J H

    “A bigger No!”

    “No, no, no, don’t ruin anything else!”

    C R

    “Yes – to save the promenade, only a new one will suffice. No wall – no promenade and no gardens. Say Yes.” Ian Hanford

    “No, it stinks.”

    “Yes, it needs replacing and modernising.” Paul

  13. Petition Comments says:


    “No. It will ruin the cutist area. Most unsympathetic.” O S L

    “Against. You will destroy Torquay’s appeal – great views and green spaces. If you build something in this space, it will become another Coral Island – empty and ugly.” S T

    “Horse-stable-bolted comes to mind. It should not have been allowed to deteriorate and more flats, hotels and bed spaces not needed.”

  14. Petition Comments says:


    “Against. Say No! How will 2 4/5 storey blocks of flats plus a 8-12 storey ‘iconic statement’ block improve, let alone enhance, the gardens? Some of which will be destroyed (banjo area and adjacent to theatre with entrance to u/ground car park). Hotels are closing and converting into flats (Queens, Riviera, Princes on Vane Hill, Conway, Shedden Hill Hotel by Rock Walk). 13% shops empty in Torquay. New hotels in Torwood complex and Palm Court and 60 extra bedrooms extension at Premier Inn (Belgrave Hotel).
    £18 million spent subsidising ERC/RICC since 1988 and at least £28 million lost in rent from RICC (it only pays a ‘peppercorn’ rent). Rent due 1988 £850,000 and 1989. After £1.28 million – none paid. Total lost: £46 million – money taken from maintenance fund? Or where? That’s why Rock Walk, promenade, Pavilion (nil last 5 years), Oldway mansion etc, have been left to deteriorate, making it an easy option to bring in developers to ‘regenerate these areas’. Against any development except theatre stage extension.” – Len Short, busybody and lover of Torquay and its wonderful natural environment. “Remember, council were going to borrow £30 million on their new hub, yet no money!!!”

    “Yes for the plans, give it a go.” G Lee

    “Against – agree with those who say that plans to build up area will destroy beauty and attraction of Torquay and its green space and marvellous views.”

  15. Petition Comments says:


    “Hotels already here could do with a facelift, never mind a new one to spoil the view.” J K T

  16. Petition Comments says:


    “ I do not consent to the ‘Mayoral Vision’ or THAAP underhand scheme – no.” M A of the Cann family

    “I do not consent to the Mayoral Vision. Forget it.”

    “No double.”

    “Yes Yes Yes.” [this comment scribbled over by previous

    “I consent to the plans – great idea” – Lord & Lady Clinton OBE

    “ Say no. The plan to develop the sea front, what about the memorial it needs space around it for Remembrance Day, leave the sea front as it is, we don’t need change. Nick Bye is ruining the bay.” J V

    “Yes Yes Yes.” Ellis

    “I do not consent to the Torquay harbour action plan or any other development on the sea front.” Nick of the devon clan

  17. Petition Comments says:


    “I say no no no hotel, no shops.” C Z

    “Keep the sea front shop and market free town across this country would love to have what we have – No No No.” M Wasdale. Meadfoot Rd TQ2

    “No! This plan is simply a property developers proposal masquerading as economic development. Development for whom? The developer are then friends on the council. It lacks inspiration and simply ‘builds’ on open space. Surely someone can develop this area in a more sympathetic way!!” G McIntyre TQ1 4NJ

    “No.” G Roberts

    “Sack the mayor and everyone that agree’s to it.”

    “Do Not under any circumstances alter the Princess Gardens or the promenade, it will lower Torquay’s appeal of even more.” K P W. TQ2 8DN

    “Definitely not. Make town centre a more interesting place – it’s boring – no litter alleyways – all gone. Other towns have retained their interesting places – we have demolished ours. Leave the greenery on the seafront as it is for everyone to enjoy.” TQ1 1BG

    “No No No. Get it!!”

    “Yes, we need investment and forward thinking to regenerate Torbay … but not by this mayor.”

    “Save your heritage – if gone in will be gone forever. Wake up. No!”

    “No way, no no no.”

  18. Petition Comments says:


    “No because so many beautiful buildings etc. have been allowed to fall into disrepair, same as in Paignton.”


    “No we do not need more shop etc.” Newton Abbot

    “No leave alone.” M Newton

    “No! No! Finish one project first!” Local resident

    “Say no to the plan for the seafront, get shot of Nic Bye and the rest of the wimps on the council.” J B

    “No no no to the new plan.” G B

    “Yes, yes, yes – move with the times!” H N

    “yes, do it – ‘build beautiful buildings’ on the seafront – move forward.”

    “No no no.” Local

    “No they are joking arn’t they.” S Cordoroy.

  19. Petition Comments says:


    “No, definitely no. Use the Palm Court hotel, not another ugly building by our beautiful harbour. Plenty of empty shops in the town centre and Pavilion.” Val & Maurice Ackland

  20. Petition Comments says:


    “How can you exhibition doing building on the front. It would spoil all the scenery and views from Fleet Walk.” Torquay resident

    “Some suggestions. No need for a hotel on harbourside once Palm Court has been revamped. Yes enlarge theatre to take bigger shows. Leave Pavilion design as it is at present, must be left for shops, entertainment etc not turned into accommodation. Reintroduce ‘seacat’ style boats, ferry link to Channel isles.” Torbay resident

  21. Petition Comments says:


    “I am no supporter of Mr Bye, But, Torquay needs to be regenerated to bring jobs and money into Torquay. I am in favour of using existing buildings where possible (eg palm Court, Pavilion). I wouldn’t be against against a casino in the Pavilion (à la Monte Carlo). Clearly the council doesn’t have the funds to do things on its own, so private co.s must be involved. However, the public must have access to any developed areas. The young locals cannot live on sea air and good views. We are one of the most deprived areas in the South West.” Martin Vaughn (exiled in Saltash)

    “No! No! No!.”

    “Don’t take the character away from Our seafront!” Torquay resident


    “Yes.” Boyz

    “For all hotel, shops, cafes, public gardens, fine, but leave the Pavilion alone. Otherwise, definitely No casino!!! Torquay resident

    “Yes, let’s have something modern and bright that will help tourism which is what Torbay is all about.” John

    “Yes this is a good thing… New life, New Jobs. But please lets not have Nick Bye anywhere neat this development.”

    “Yes, yes, yes – its about time Torquay became the fabulous place it could be. Don’t let it lie down and die – Please.”

    “No no no. Leave it as it is, but demolish [sic] the Palm Court and build a hotel complex there.” James of Torquay

    “No No No.”

    “I do not agree with building on Princess Gardens. leave it alone.” C Seabrook. Torquay

    “No no no.”

    “Yes. The Bay needs to move forward. I am tired of hearing people moan about all good … We need to develop or the town will die. I think its the best the bay has looked din years. Rock Walk fantastic, all the new light, toilets open, the new library, everywhere so clean. So get the job finished. Well done.” J W Barber. TQ4 5PG

  22. Petition Comments says:


    “Not on Princess gardens lest sling your hook no no no.”

  23. Petition Comments says:


    “Yes continue to progress this exciting venture. Do not be put off by the boring old brigade who are always stuck in the past.”

    “No.” C M D

  24. Petition Comments says:


    “No. Please no development – remember the history of the fools in Castle Circus.” Ray

    “No – what a ghastly vision, concrete blocking the sea views as one strolls along Torbay Road. Palm Court is an mazing building that needs revamping to it’s former 5* status (read the 1931 Torquay Directory to see why the building needs preserving). The Princess Theatre does need an extension so that is no problem but should a select few people have homes on what is at present a much used public space? Remember – revamping and restoration creates just as many jobs as new build! Most residents know the Pavillion [sic] doesn’t work as a shopping centre – yes to a top quality casino like Monte carlo which will attract the big league spenders to the bay and make the Pavillion [ditto] work. Suggest to the Nicholas James Group look at taking on Palm Court for their quality hotel – it’s already got some high quality features there. “ J Nicholson

    “No, I am against. I believe it will tune the area into a down market version of Blackpool or Southend and drive away families. Why not renovate the hotel that is at present the Mojo Bar. No, Torquay will lose some of its charm if a block/hotel is built to block the sea view. As sensible an idea as the balloon!” B M U

    “I do not consent to the THAAP and the Mayoral Vision. It is my understanding that the people of Torquay own the land and have not been fully consulted. There is nowhere to be seen a view of what this will look like!!” Tim of the Cann family

    “No! Definitely a no. Please leave the area as we know and love it. High rise flats and hotels will sound the death knell.” M V Brett

    “Let it die.”

    “Drop a bomb on Tqy build there yes.”

    “No don’t you dare.”

    “Noooo. Thats a crap idia.”


    “Dont’ knock anything down!”

    “Keep it same don’t mess!”


  25. Petition Comments says:


    “Don’t need another hotel – or more shops (there’s plenty empty already in Torbay!). Keep character, invest in the old. Put back the ice rink in Pavillion [sic] and move shops to Palm Court!” C N

    “”You’ve ruined Rock Walk with a concrete path in the name of modernisation, what more can you manage to to ruin with your positive forward thinking!! If ongoing maintenance had been performed in all aspects of the sea front none of these drastic measures would have been necessary. I suppose money wasn’t available through paying councillors high salaries!” Former resident – glad to have escaped. J L

    “No no no. Don’t build here. The Palm Court needs doing up.” Frank, Shiphay

    “Please keep the original beautiful surrounding, revamp and repair. But please keep all the original facades etc. Please no concrete jungle.”

    “Yes, do a lot of improvement by upgrading not demolishing.” A very keen visitor

    “No. Last day of November. Lison [sic] to the people.”

    “No No No No leave alone the seafront but revamp Palm Court. J B

    “Yes please – investment is long overdue.” R L Torquay

  26. Petition Comments says:


    “Whatever keeps the Pavilion – do not demolish this very beautiful building – too much has gone already!” J Russell

    “Yes please.”

    “Yes please.” G Connery

    “Please bring Torquay into this Century, we are going to die.” H H

    “We need to move forward.” A W

    “Come on – it is not that bad onwards.” H

    “Yes.” Sarah Taylor

    “Yes Yes Yes. Come on you dinosaurs, move forward.” M Cox, Torquay born and bread


    “Leave the Pavilion clear of the buildings, put the effort and finance into sorting out the Palm Court Hotel area.” V R Somerset

    “No to building on public land.” Mark Hellyer

    “No way José! If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!!.”

  27. Petition Comments says:


    “Go for it ASAP. Either that of bulldozz [sic] the whole of Torquay into the bay and give up on the place.” David Banks

    “I have lived here all my life and what rubbish. No no no.”

    “No no no. Just do up the Palm Court, leave the rest as it is.” K D Torquay

  28. Petition Comments says:


    “Restore, not redevelope.” J Thomas, Paignton

    “No were not sure how we feel about these plans but since the wonderful tree to the rear of the Princess Theatre has been cut, with no warning, [expert tree surgeons said that a severe crack in the trunk made it dangerous] we are now completely against any future development going ahead.” Mr & Mrs G Barnett, Torquay

    “Future development on the sea front should be for the benefit of general public, not developers.” D T. Torquay

    “We have come here for a visit from South Yorkshire and been admiring the inside of the Pavillion [sic] how can anyone begin to think of destroying such a beautiful building.” J A & S
    Windle, Mexboro’

    “Please no further development especially the Pavilion which is beautiful.” Mr & Mrs Killoran, paignton

    “I agree.”

    “Please Please go ahead with new development otherwise Torquay will be left behind. But restore Pavillion [sic] to his glory.” M, Paignton

    “Please, please do Not go ahead. This development will absolutely destroy our beautiful seafront.” J H, Paignton

    “Please do Not destroy the beautiful prom, just repair and maintain what exists including pavilion. Why do we need another hotel and shops when so many are empty??” D D, Paignton

    “Whatever you do Maintain the Pavillion [sic] – it is a wonderful example of Edwardian architecture and it would be a crime to destroy it.” J D, Yate

    “If the only answer is a hotel in order to upgrade the Pav’, for goodness sake make it look as good as the Pavilion and not a glass house.” Maryo, Yale

    “Remember; Coral Island, ERC and many other wonderful ideas by the council so don’t do it.”

    “(More waste) Commy bastards.”

    “No no no.”

  29. Petition Comments says:


    “No no no to more shops and restaurants, Port salut opened in April 2010, and at the end of summer closed which was an upmarket restaurant run by an expert in the trade, can not these councilers [sic] see what will happen, but what will happen is they wont be reelected next May. B R. Torquay

    “No to the plans.” C T

    “No to the plans.”

    “Definitely no to the plans, not to be built on!!”

    “I am for it, sooner the better.” J P, Torquay

    “Yes get on with it now, its a right mess.”

  30. Petition Comments says:


    “No more shops and hotels along this front. Mayor Bye he cannot fill the ones we have. Do not distroy [sic] another imperfect feature of Torquay.” David

    “No more building on the seafront, leave it as it is, its lovely, revamp the Palm Court, and don’t vote this crowd of blithering idiots of a council in next year, the keystone cops could do a better job.” Joe

  31. Petition Comments says:


    “I am against. The seafront should remain open for local and visitors to enjoy – not just a very few rich people.”

    “I am against any appartment/shops on princess gardens. A total waste of time, why does the Mayor think that more apartments [sic] improve Torquay.” I & S D

  32. Palm Court Hotel burnt out in the early hours of the morning on Saturday 18 December 2010. Therefore all those opposed to a new hotel on the marina car park site and suggested the Palm Court be restored will have to think again!

  33. Phil Chapman says:

    We should seek to enhance the Bay if it takes private funds to create something special we should do it, in Chester on the site of the old police station near a historic fort and overlooking the race course they have built a superb Hotel with adjacent office space in a double crescent shape, which in itself is absolutly stunning, we could create something similar here, we need a top quality building of iconic appearance not another row of cheap balconies.

  34. Mark from Preston (Paignton) says:

    I fully support the idea of developing parts of the seafront. We have to go forward and private investment would appear to be the only option. Torquay and Torbay as a whole has been left behind resulting in one of the weakest local economies in the UK.
    We as a community must by all means ensure the scheme is well designed and creates a world class local amenity as well as a viable commercial development. Any reputable developer will understand this.
    There is a demand for better quality hotels, as demonstrated at the Belgrave Hotel. An improved Princess Theatre back of house will bring bigger and better shows to town. And who can argue that Exeter has not been improved by the Princess Haye development?
    Of course there risks in this scheme, but if we do nothing we can be certain that the decline will continue.
    If you look at the history of development on this site you will see the Pavilion scheme was met with great disapproval by sections of the local community. Time to move on and not let the narrow minded stifle the future.

  35. P newton says:

    Granted the harbour requires regeneration but not at the the expense of beauty!
    Flats overlooking the Marina area would without doubt be an awful look.
    Bring in attractions which would draw people to the bay. Hotels we have plenty, attractions are a serious shortage.
    For you who think this is a good idea…..take a walk down there and think how it would look with a restricted view, limited space and a higher volume of traffic and noise!
    Try again Torbay council!!

  36. Lionel Digby says:

    No mater what the arguments are, Torquay is a tourist attraction and relys on tourisam. It became a tourist town in the Victorian times because of its beauty. Many attractive villas were built and
    a lot of which has been replace by blocks of concrete flats. Torquay seafront is one of its assests with the Pavillion a central feature ( the people of Torquay stopped this being pulled down 30 years ago) Rock Walk which is now restored to its former glory and will improve as time goes by. Princess Gardens with its fountain and floral displays and prominent War Memorial which should never be touched. This is all part of Torquay`s attraction.To put a hotel and shops on this site is nothing less than architectural vandalism. Do we really need another hotel in the bay if yes then build it on the Palm Court Site.Do we need more shops, the Pavallion complex has a number of empty shops.Look at the number of empty premise`s in the main street. Restuarant/Cafes there is already a good selection on the harbourside.I understand that the work has got to be done to improve the structure of the seafront. Why does the council not use its powers like the West Midlands who when granting Tesco`s to build a new supermarket obtained an agreement for them to build and pay for a multi million pound Police Station before giving them planning permission for their supermarket. There is private money to be obtained without destroying Torquay`s beauty because whatever they build will not be as attractive as it is now. It will be more concrete and more parking problems (hotel parking)
    I am not against progress but not for destruction to obtain it. Think carefully about this because if its done it cannot be reversed and Torquay will be the poorer for it

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