Bulldozed Devon hotel will be replaced by 'fussy' apartment block

Developers have been given the go-ahead to knock down a former Torquay hotel and replace it with apartments, despite planning officers urging them not to.

The officials said the design proposed for the former Seabury Hotel in Manor Road was 'fussy', and the height and mass of the building wouldn't preserve or enhance the St Marychurch conservation area.

The current buildings are a Victorian villa with a number of more recent extensions, but the hotel has been closed since the covid pandemic. However, officers claimed it remained an important feature of the area.

The proposal replaced an earlier vision for the site which objectors said was obtrusive and unacceptable.

Alan Griffith of the St Marychurch Steering Group said the previous proposal had been 'overbearing' but the group supported the latest one.

Seabury Hotel, Torquay -Credit:Google Street view
Seabury Hotel, Torquay -Credit:Google Street view

"Many old hotels look tired, and their owners cannot afford the upgrades needed to compete with the new-builds," he said. "Sadly the Seabury falls into this old category. It was an attractive hotel in its day, but its many additions have made it unsightly.

"What is proposed is not just another unsightly glazed box. It has good design."

Applicant 8 Tech Homes wants to knock down the existing buildings and replace them with an L-shaped block of 14 two-bedroom apartments.

The three-storey block would have a 'turret' in the corner.

Cllr Andrew Strang (Con, Furzeham with Summercombe) said: "I'm probably one of the last ones who would advocate losing an old building, but I feel in this case that the style of what is presented to us is sympathetic."

The committee voted unanimously to approve the project with a number of conditions.