Massively delayed Torquay luxury homes project is back on track

Salcombe and Shaldon street scene in new development Palace Gardens in Torquay
Salcombe and Shaldon street scene in new development Palace Gardens in Torquay -Credit:The Fragrance Group

A severely delayed prestigious development of luxury homes on the site of a former hotel in Torquay is now back on track with its first show home due to be unveiled next month. The site of the former Palace Hotel was purchased seven years ago by The Fragrance Group of Singapore.

Its original plan had been to create a new luxury five-star Palace Hotel. When it was then deemed to be no longer financially viable, planning permission was granted to instead build 37 luxury three and four-bedroom homes collectively known as Palace Gardens.

Planning consent for the new homes, on part of the former Palace Hotel site, was granted in 2019. South West construction company Midas started work on the new homes but then work halted after it announced it had entered administration in January 2022. Brady Construction Services then took over but work paused for several months after it also went into administration.

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Despite the setbacks, The Fragrance Group has assured the new homes on a wooded peninsula overlooking Anstey’s Cove will be finished by the end of this year. It is the company's first UK residential development in Britain.

It is instead best known for its investments in hotels worldwide, including the new Mercure and Ibis Styles hotels on Paignton’s seafront. It will be opening its luxurious show home in Palace Gardens on the weekend of June 7 and 8. Construction is now under the management of Exeter-based DNA and its subcontractors.

The gates remain closed at the construction site of Palace Gardens
Halted construction at Palace Gardens in February 2024 -Credit:DevonLive

On behalf of The Fragrance Group’s UK operations, Erika Wilmott said: “Fragrance Group are known worldwide for their property investment and development. Here in the UK, we are seeing the realisation of their vision to breathe new life into redundant buildings and transform iconic seaside and city centre sites, significantly boosting the local economy through tourism and employment opportunities.

"Palace Gardens in Torquay marks the property group’s first residential development in Britain. It is a truly stunning development, and we look forward to inviting house hunters who are seeking something very special.”

Palace Gardens is described as offering high quality, 'strikingly modern' and EPC ‘A’-rated energy efficient homes, powered by air-source heat pumps and fitted with solar panels. The luxurious homes come in a variety of contemporary designs, all named after Devon’s seaside towns; The Shaldon, The Exmouth, The Salcombe and The Dartmouth.

The new homes at Palace Gardens are being marketed by Knight Frank with prices starting from £715,000. The Fragrance Group is continuing its work on the multi-million-pound rebuilding of the Corbyn Head Hotel on Torquay’s seafront, due to open in 2025.