Saturday, 18 December 2010

Some Sad But Not Unexpected News From Torquay

At 06:30 this morning, Sat 18 Dec 2010, someone or something set fire to the once much love Palm Court Hotel. At one point there were 8 fire engines in attendance but about one third of the building has been gutted.*

The hotel part of the building has been closed for years so there were no guests in residence. The left hand end of the building (looking from the sea) had been used as a bar over the last few summers but had closed at the end of the season just before the police were going to close it down anyway due to inappropriate behaviour on and around the premises.

A couple of years ago a developer signed a deal with the Council to pull the place down and rebuild as a mix of bar, hotel and apartments. Months and months went by and nothing happened. Then, eventually the council asked the developer why nothing was happening. He replied that he was still looking for backing for his project, please be patient. So the council was patient for months and months and even more months. Then the developer announced he had gone bust. There has been a for sale sign on the hotel ever since.

Judging by the damage the fire has caused the whole building will probable end up being knocked down and turned into a car park.

This isn't the first time fire has gutted an empty hotel in the Torbay area. There is the problem of squatters in empty hotels and it was very cold last night so a small fire to warm cold hands could have got out of control. Or maybe some local decided that the building was a continued blot on the beautiful landscape of Torquay and decided to speed up the process of turning the site from delerict building to block of flats or car park.

Also I am a bit concerned for the future of the hotel I used to work at which is presently standing empty and boarded up. Sorry Sherwood, it could happen to you if a buyer isn't found soon.


Cabbie J said...

Could go a few ways I guess.
The building is virtually worthless now so the council actually have the means to purchase it - and will undoubtedly build a block of hideous 'affordable' flats there (look at Torre).

Or, they will just ignore it and expect private investors to do something about it. Having some burned out shell of a disused hotel/bar would pretty much say everything about this town and its council.

At least now perhaps something will be done about it. Has been a hideous blot on the landscape for far too long.

Anonymous said...

The building may be worthless now BUT the site is very valuable. If they build there the properties will NOT be afordable. What is the cost of an afforable home?

Anonymous said...

In reply to Cabbie J "the council does not have, nor the government, any money, the money belongs to the public", that they spend on useless projects and give away to all and sundry. Nice to be able to spend others cash.
Perhaps politics should be kept out of local conncils so that those elected did their best for the town/village whatever, NOT score points off each other and just fight to oppose things each other propose.

David said...

I agree with the comments about party politics and local councils. What is the point in getting elected by promising to look after the interests of the people and then voting along party lines. Usually the person dictating these policies is the most hard-line member of the party, the sort of person who thinks Maggie is a God. Vote against the party and your chance of getting on in local politics is none existent.
Vote for the best person for the job, not for their party.

Anonymous said...

Another empty and derelict hotel waiting for development gone up in smoke at Sidmouth now, seems to be a lot of these type of premesis seem to catch fire. I wonder why?