Redbay Design helps revitalise prestigious Torquay hotel

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Transforming the grounds of one of Torquay’s most prestigious hotels is just one of the projects keeping Redbay Design busy.

The landscape consultancy firm, set up by Nick Perrett and based at Cockington Court Craft Centre, has been taken on to help revitalise the four star Palace Hotel, once home to the Bishop of Exeter, which has received planning permission for multimillion pound plans for a luxury new resort and flats complex.

“We are working to restore the original Italianate gardens laid out to reflect the Victorian’s taste for the exotic,” said Nick. “Italianate style gardens were prevalent around Torquay in its heyday so we’re drawing inspiration from these whilst providing a contemporary coastal feel.”

Lavender, box, rosemary and Italian cypress trees will be included in the design of formal Italian style terraces, while moving away from these formal gardens there will be natural play areas for families and seating areas nestled in quiet corners of the grounds.

Nick added: “The woodland down to Anstey’s Cove will be under an enhanced management regime to reopen vista views to the coast an important element to the original garden, and also to undertake replanting to bring about benefits for wildlife.

“It’s a considerable project for Redbay, both in its scale and that it’s a long term project. That fact that it’s on our doorstep is also a real bonus as much of our work is spread out over the south west.”

Redbay, which works with architects, commercial firms and private clients, is steadily growing and taking on additional staff with landscape architect Nick Bunn joining in May with further recruitment for a landscape architect and office manager currently underway.

“We are very busy at the moment,” said Nick. “We are also working with the Training Partnership taking on several interns to help us out.”

The consultancy is involved in a range of projects from a large wind turbine near Launceston, to a large private garden in Bath for a new house build, to providing landscape design services for the regeneration of Seaton Town, comprising 222 homes and a hotel development. This is an exciting scheme as it involves the creation of considerable green infrastructure in the form of an ecological wetland corridor doubling up as  public open space.

Other projects the consultancy is in the middle of include preparing a masterplan for Ilminster Recreation Ground involving several sports clubs, raising the quality of provision and facilities, which follows on from a masterplan for Cale River Park, Wincanton.

The development of the former Murata factory site near Plymouth airport for which a planning application has been submitted for mixed retail use - supermarket, fast food, pub and service station and the redevelopment of a hotel at Hope Cove are two further projects.

“We’re working closely with the architects on these projects, carrying out appraisals of the site and developing detailed landscape strategies,” said Nick.

“With the Hope Cove project, it’s important to get the scale of new buildings right to ensure a fit with the historic fishing village. We have to look at how the building will look on the site and get it right for the planning application. And he added that working at Cockington has helped the business expand.

“The setting is great and we all love it here. It complements our business very well.”

Marissa Wakefield, Cockington Court Centre Director, added: “Redbay has been based at Cockington for around two years now and during that time has steadily expanded and taken on more staff. Nick and his team have a lot of talent which is being used to transform some exciting projects across the South West.”

South West Innovation Centre Manager, Adrian Sheen, added: “I’m sure Redbay’s designs will enhance the grounds and help attract more visitors to the Palace Hotel and Torbay. I’m looking forward to seeing the transformation take shape.”

Cockington Court Craft Centre is run by Torbay Development Agency as a visitor attraction and innovation centre to support small creative businesses in the Bay.

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