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Local residents are fighting to save Cary Green from destruction as plans to turn it into a car park continue. Plans to redevelop the area to make way for a hotel, apartments and car park would mean losing the precious green space, as well as overshadowing and obscuring the view of the iconic Torquay seafront.
Cary Green is not only used recreationally, but also to hold events and is home to the only known statue of famous local writer, Agatha Christie. The bust of the legendary crime writer was unveiled in 1990 by Agatha Christie’s daughter, Rosalind Hicks, it begs the question of what would happen to this important piece of local history if the plans to redevelop the area are successful. There was much outrage last week as locals were appalled to find that a planning permission application had been glued to the front of the statue. Many felt that the placement of the application was disrespectful and so the decision to move the application somewhere more appropriate was made.
It is important that people understand that they can make a difference with this issue, please show your support by heading over to the Save Cary Green Facebook page so you can keep up to date with the latest news on the green, as well as opportunities where you can make sure your voice is heard on the subject. The Facebook Save Cary Green campaign began last December, initiated by nineteen year old Paul Fraser, since then the page has received thousands of likes and is constantly inundated with support from like-minded locals. Mr Fraser is urging residents into action, expressing that:
Crucially, the area affected by the proposed overdevelopment belongs to the people. Torquay Pavilion is the People’s Pavilion, and Cary Green is the People’s Park. It is time to stand up for ourselves and for our town, keep it looking stunning, and ensure that its assets can be enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike for years to come.
Paul Fraser is also trying to campaign to save Torquay Pavilion, which is adjacent to Cary Green. The Pavilion is under threat from the same planning proposals in which they would like to see it converted into a foyer for the hotel they wish to build. Torquay Pavilion would be removed from the public domain and become just a face of the latest new build hotel. Many residents would prefer to see the Pavilion but to better use such as restoring it as a museum, gift shop or restaurant to be enjoyed by both tourists and locals together. The Torquay Pavilion Trust has also been formed by Mr Fraser in an effort to reclaim the local site from the developers. If the astounding success of the Cary Green page is anything to go by, there will also be much support to save the Pavilion. Residents wish to preserve what defines Torquay as the English Riviera, the battle for Cary Green and Torquay Pavilion will continue, but Mr Fraser is resolute in his campaign:
Whilst it is clear our town is under threat, we are determined to do everything we can to save what makes it famous as the English Riviera.
The application will now go before the council’s planners in September, after the report was withdrawn from a meeting held last week.
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