Singapore-based property firm Fragrance Group has won planning approval to demolish the Corbyn Head hotel in Torquay, Devon, and replace it with a new venue with three times the number of bedrooms.
Fragrance Group’s £20m redevelopment project overcame opposition from locals to win council approval earlier this week. There were 506 objections to the plans, which will see the construction of a four-star hotel up to six storeys high with 152 bedrooms – more than three times the 45 bedrooms in the current building. The new hotel will also feature a rooftop bar and spa.
The original plans for the hotel were rejected by councillors in June, who were concerned about the hotel’s visual impact and a lack of parking spaces.
The latest application for development was supported by the Torbay Development Agency, which argued that the investment in the hotel aligned with the English Riviera’s destination management plan 2017-21, which aims to bring in new visitors, improve the quality of accommodation, and improve hotel occupancy throughout the year.
Based on an occupancy rate of 75%, the hotel is expected to generate an extra £2.7m of leisure spend per year in Torbay, as well as 101 new full-time jobs, compared to the 30 jobs currently, of which 20 are full time, according to planning documents.
The Corbyn Head hotel is one of four Devon venues into which the Fragrance Group said in August it wanted to pour £100m of investment.
It plans to demolish the Palace hotel in Torquay, which it bought in 2017, and build a 248-bedroom, five-star hotel. It has also demolished the 46-bedroom Park hotel in Paignton and has planning permission to build a three-star, 161-bedroom hotel. And it is redrawing plans to redevelop the adjacent former Lighthouse bar and nightclub into a 115-bedroom hotel.
The property company also plans to transform Bath's Grade II-listed Royal Mineral Water Hospital into a luxury hotel following refurbishment and owns the St Chads hotel in Blackpool and the Townhouse hotel in Manchester.
Martin Rogers, of Global Hotels Leisure & Consultancy, on behalf of the Fragrance Group, said: “We are naturally very pleased that councillors have supported the proposals for the Corbyn Head which are part of the largest programme of private sector investment in Torbay in living memory.
“The Fragrance Group is preparing to invest around £100m in Torbay, which will provide a major boost to the local economy and create hundreds of meaningful full-time jobs. The planning committee’s decision is a vote in favour of investment for future generations.”