Friday 30 September 2016

Fawlty Towers will be razed and retirement flats built

Lucy Clarke-Billings

Published 12/11/2015 | 02:30

Andrew Sachs and John Cleese as waiter Manuel and hotel owner Basil Fawlty in classic sitcom Fawlty Towers
Andrew Sachs and John Cleese as waiter Manuel and hotel owner Basil Fawlty in classic sitcom Fawlty Towers

The hotel that inspired Fawlty Towers is to be demolished so 32 retirement flats can be built.

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The guesthouse was used by the Monty Python team while filming in Torquay, Devon, in 1970.

John Cleese called Donald Sinclair, the former owner of the hotel, the "most marvellously rude man I've met" and claims to have based his comic creation of Basil Fawlty on him.

Mr Sinclair, who died in 1981 aged 72, was the co-owner of the hotel after a career as an officer in the Merchant Navy.

His wife, Beatrice, later said her husband was a "gentleman and a very brave man" but a disciplinarian who did not tolerate fools.

However, she insisted he was "not the neurotic eccentric John Cleese made him out to be".

The Gleneagles Hotel, which has been at the centre of a long-running debate about its future, will be demolished after a decision by council planners.

Torbay Council approved the latest scheme, for 32 apartments, at a meeting on Monday.

Simon McFarlane, of Churchill Retirement Living, said they are delighted that their plans have been approved and they hope to start work in the next six months.

The proposed scheme is for 21 one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom apartments, with a guest suite and two communal lounges.

Helen Addison, a planning officer, said the contemporary design was "satisfactory" for the site.

Irish Independent

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