Torbay Council: Matt is ecstatic that after the best part of 5 years, planning permission has finally been secured for the for the formation of leisure facilities including waterslides, aqua play area, indoor play and climbing centre; relocation of reception area; formation of car park and access to staff car parking; alterations to arcade/cafe/kiosk building and refuse area; re-landscaping; altered boundary treatments and entrance arrangements at Splashdown Quaywest Water Park on the seafront at Paignton. The plans for this £3million upgrade scheme were designed and drawn up by the team at Watts Holt.

Back in 2019 we carried out a pre-application advice process with Torbay Council. At that time a high ropes course was proposed instead of the indoor climbing centre. The pre-application summary advised that the principle of tourism related development and redevelopment in this location was considered acceptable, but that the proposals would require substantial revision and additional supporting information in order to secure officer support for any formal application for planning permission.

The key area of concern for the planners at the pre-application stage was the design of the soft play and climbing centre building. This has evolved considerably throughout the course of this application process and the approved scheme uses the same cladding system and colour palatte which is proposed on the main building (containing the café, shop and arcade) and is also proposed on the kiosk and new entrance gates. This ensures that the new building on site will integrate well with the other buildings in the waterpark. This together with the colourful palette of the new and existing slides themselves suitably reflect the leisure uses for physical exercise and enjoyment on the site whilst presenting a consistence brand image.  The planning officer in arriving at his favourable recommendation in his report deemed that the new building “is considered to be of a suitable scale and design with the finish materials appropriate for the location”.

Because the land was owned by the Council the application had to go to planning committee for final determination which was in September 2022 (there was a long delay with the legal agreement post committee!). At committee we were able present a strong case to the members for approving the application. The water park was originally built in the late 1980s and is the largest outdoor water park in the UK. Local people supported the application when it came to Torbay Council’s planning committee, with one saying it would improve ‘tired’ and ‘redundant’ parts of the site. Given the existing waterpark use of the site together with the nearest residential uses being over 100m away,  the members of the committee agreed that the proposed additional building and new waterslide additions and attractions would not cause any detrimental impact on neighbouring amenity in terms of noise and disturbance nor would there be any opportunity for overlooking or overbearing impacts.

Councillors considered that the scheme represented a great opportunity to regenerate an existing leisure attraction which is in full accordance with the Tourism Policy TO1 and the Paignton Neighbourhood Plan which promotes the improvement, modernisation and addition of new tourism facilities in order to attract new visitors and to support the local economy.

We are delighted with the result and to have achieved this exciting planning permission for our client. If you are looking to expand your business why don’t you give Pure Town Planning a call on 01202 585524 or email us at for a FREE and confidential appraisal and we’d be happy to help you too!