Torquay’s Riviera International Conference Centre is to get a new climbing attraction in its grounds.
Torbay Council’s planning committee voted in favour of two new climbing frames on the disused tennis courts on the south side of the fitness and conference centre opposite Torre Abbey.
One will be 3.7 metres high and the other 10.5 metres.
The new service will take up approximately two and a half of the five disused courts next to Abbey Park. Five further courts located opposite are still in use and are not affected.
The climbing frames will be will open year-round, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April to September and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. October to April.
Timber-clad steel containers will form a reception and two changing rooms. The three-metre-high building will have seats on the roof for spectators to watch climbing. The climbing ropes will be in muted colours to minimise clashing with the surrounding area.
To help prevent vandalism, the planning permission stipulates that the climbing facilities must be removed within three months should they fall out of use.
Before Monday’s meeting, five objections had been received from local residents. Some expressed concern about a lack of disabled access, others about the potential for vandalism if the facilities fall into disrepair.
Torbay Heritage Trust were concerned about noise disruption to players on the neighbouring five tennis courts and about the development negatively impacting on the setting of Torre Abbey.
Councillor Chris Lewis (Conservative, Preston) described the dilapidated courts as “a mess”, adding: “I think this will be good for Torbay.”
Councillor Mandy Darling (Liberal Democrats, Tormohun) said the plans were “very exciting.”
The planning permission was sought by Parkwood Leisure Limited, which runs the Riviera Centre on behalf of Torbay Council.
Torbay Weekly Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.