[NB: site currently under construction]

Covid-19 restrictions determined the cancellation of the 2020 Annual General Meeting, but the activities of casework monitoring of planning applications have continued.

Please join us as a member to be part of protecting, restoring and enhancing Torbay – details below.

Torbay’s Built Culture Matters
Values and meaning are a pressing concern of Cultural Heritage. Values are critical to deciding what to conserve – what material goods will represent us and our past for future generations. Cultivating Cultural Heritage should be an abiding concern in Torbay. However, even a brief consideration of Cultural Heritage planning decisions in Torbay reveals no firm understanding of the artistic and aesthetic values of old buildings or of the historical values of its associations.

In Torbay there are a multitude of listed heritage sites and buildings, but also key non-listed places, parks and buildings at risk. At present the local council is failing to raise the necessary capital for their upkeep.

Profit is the only god of Torbay Council’s vision for economic development, with planners setting aside existing heritage policies. Any building development, whether good or damaging, is recommended for creating income. A decline in tourism due to lockdown has focused the Council on any short-term profitability.

Torbay Culture, an arm of the TDA, was established in 2015. Who, ideally, should be in an unmovable central role, but occupy a back seat? They are not able to deliver fully their policy “to influence strategic planning and decision-making across Torbay”, but nevertheless are permitting incremental changes to our cultural built heritage, now moving ever faster and creating irreversible negative impacts on the distinctiveness and qualities of Torbay.

Torbay Culture says “Because it Matters”, the community agrees with its aim, but the reality is good words, not good deeds.

Protecting, restoring and enhancing the Cultural Heritage of the built and natural environment is not happening in Torbay, but these are needed to stimulate and develop quality tourism. The danger is that Torbay will become another forgotten sea-side resort, due to the quick fix of a developer’s short-term finance, with its preference for undistinguished buildings.

Local politics should be set aside for a shared conservation strategy, implemented with integrity. That is something that could result in Torbay being truly held up as a successful model for culture in the UK.

When you see Torbay in its sad decline.
When all new buildings show no sign
Of glories past or even clear design…
Then don’t despair though weep you must,
You can join a cause that’s fair and just,
Torbay coastal Heritage Trust
Walter Wright – member, TCHT

Our Membership is represented throughout England, from Northumberland to Dorset, London to Bristol and Bath, as well as within the community in the three towns of Torbay. As such, it representing the local community, but also the visitors – ensuring the wellbeing of the tourism economy.

Become a Member

  • Your Voice in Torbay will be heard
  • Planning Advice available
  • Newsletter advice on campaigning
  • Casework updates
  • Free Postcards (with stamped address envelope)