A new 120-bed Premier Inn is set to rise in Torquay after given a go signal by the Torbay Council last Monday, 12 August.
The 36-member council unanimously granted conditional approval to the plan to have a new inn built on a car park strategically overlooking Torquay harbour.
The plan was approved after agreeing with the officers’ recommendation that the inn’s economic benefits would outweigh any harm to the view and setting of the buildings in The Terrace. This was done as the original plan was not liked by Historic England, a government heritage agency, as the building’s corner could affect the view of the historic buildings near the Higher Terrace. In response, Premier Inn modified the design to better fit with listed buildings in The Terrace. For example, the height of the building’s south-west part was re-adjusted and lowered by 0.5 m, windows were decorated, and the structure underwent some redesigning.
Following the approval, the new hotel will be constructed along the car park’s western part, just behind the Hilton Hotel. The council borrowed funds for this project, in line with the plan to invest in something that could bring revenue to the populous seaside resort town. The councillors were informed that the chosen hotel site is indeed part of the strategic Core Tourism Investment Area and that it could potentially create more than thirty jobs, generating over £1m a year to benefit the local economy.
In addition, 100 slots at the multi-storey car park would be given to the hotel, 60 for the Torwood Street retail and office spaces, and the remaining 335 for continued public use.
According to official reports, the economic benefits of the inn from the estimated guests of 64,000 a year would amount to more or less £3.3m in tourism expenditure on food, drinks and entertainment.