Herald Express (Torbay, Brixham & South Hams Edition)

Frustratio­n monstrous new hotel is In My Back Yard!


✒ THE column by Frank Sobey (HE, March 20) certainly resonated with the residents of Cromartie Point and the surroundin­g Livermead district!

For once we had someone actually expressing the comments we have been raising ever since the initial drawings for the redevelopm­ent of the Corbyn Head Hotel were put on display at the English Riviera Centre nearly six years ago.

We were not against sensible redevelopm­ent of this site, just not such a monstrous edifice of a 152-bedroom hotel on a 0.8-acre site. Just to recap on some salient points:

» More than 500 objections were received including from Devon and Cornwall Police

» Some members of the planning committee were changed between the two hearings to facilitate approval, with the casting vote of the chairman changing from ‘refused’ to ‘for’ on a very little changed design » Planners ignored the decisions of three planning inspectors on nearby properties where there had been agreement the maximum height should be no more than four storeys

» They ignored the local plan and the Torquay Neighbourh­ood Plan, relying on advice from the discredite­d and disbanded Torbay Design Review Panel

» Entitlemen­t to light and privacy by existing residents must be protected with new developmen­t under current legislatio­n, but no considerat­ion has been given to the disturbanc­e caused during demolition and subsequent rebuild with continuous dust and noise

» While a view cannot be bought, neverthele­ss such views are reflected in property prices and devaluatio­n of at least £50,000 on each flat and house in the locality has been estimated by estate agents without any offer of compensati­on

» Ongoing and permanent long term effects with light and noise pollution together with loss of privacy when the hotel is open

» The public have been deprived of lovely views, not only walking down Manscombe Road but also Broadpark Road and many others. Livermead Hill is one of the seven hills that make Torquay special and has been desecrated by this build.

Many issues still have to be resolved, including the use of a particular type of glass in bedroom windows facing Cromartie Point as well as the north and south ends of the building for privacy as promised; the necessity to resolve the lack of sufficient parking for staff and visitors to the hotel and the effect on the surroundin­g roads; and the safety concerns with the approved loading bay in Livermead Hill.

Whether the hotel will be viable is a matter of speculatio­n, so watch this space to see an applicatio­n for an alternativ­e use in a few years time!

Yes, we had a room with a view and with a distance of only 30 metres to the new developmen­t, it would not take a very hefty lob of that cricket ball to reach!

The new view is certainly not pleasing in any way but, never having been Nimbys, we most certainly now can be called IMBYs! (In My Back Yard). They call it progress but being Torquay born and bred I certainly question that statement.

June Pierce


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