'Uncompromising' Torquay development refused by planners

Torbay Weekly

‘Uncompromising’ plans for new homes within the Lincombes conservation area in Torquay have been turned down by planners.

The proposals by O.J. Developments Ltd, a Cardiff-based firm, would have seen nine new apartments and two semi-detached homes built next to the grade-II listed Singleton and Palm Grove buildings on Meadfoot Sea Road.

Outbuildings at Singleton Gardens, including a dilapidated greenhouse dating from between 1933 and 1953 were intended for demolition, and the new apartment block, a mixture of two and three bedroom homes, would have been visible from the road.

Torbay Council’s planning committee refused the application amid concerns about the size and design of the buildings.

In a report, council officers said the development: “would be inappropriate and out of character with the context of the site and surrounding area and fail to respect the local character.”

Councillor Nick Bye (Conservative, Wellswood) said: “This is a conservation area, and the fact that it’s a conservation area doesn’t make it sacrosanct but I think it should establish a very high bar for any proposal of any approval.

“I don’t believe that this particular application does meet that requirement.

“In very simple terms I don’t think the design is too great. The bulk scale and height is inappropriate for this site in a conservation area and in comparison, with some of the other, larger buildings.”

He also worried that the designs would create privacy issues in neighbouring buildings.

Cllr Bye said it was a ‘very uncompromising design’ that doesn’t reflect the surrounding area, but added that a ‘more complementary’ scheme could work.

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