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Number/street name:
Avenue Road

Address line 2:




Architect contact number:
020 8339 3600

Rowcroft Hospice.

Planning Authority:
Torbay Council

Planning consultant:

Planning Reference:

Date of Completion:

Schedule of Accommodation:
14-bed hospice, 60-bed specialist dementia care and complex needs nursing home, 40 assisted living apartments and 3 guest lodges

Tenure Mix:
Hospice: Rowcroft Charity, free to the local community across 300 sq miles of South Devon. Nursing Home: NHS, Torbay Council and possibly private. Assisted Living: Private sale and rental model – removing all barriers for the local community to become a resident.

Total number of homes:

Site size (hectares):
8.9 ha

Net Density (homes per hectare):

Size of principal unit (sq m):

Smallest Unit (sq m):

Largest unit (sq m):

No of parking spaces:

Scheme PDF Download

Planning History

The design for Rowcroft Hospice will deliver an exemplar, sustainable Integrated Retirement Community (IRC) for Torquay; it is the culmination of a rigorous period of research, design and community engagement. Planning permission was granted in December 2022.

The Design Process

Located on a challenging hilltop site, the redevelopment of Rowcroft’s site in Torquay will provide an exemplary Integrated Retirement Community (IRC). The proposal will enhance and extend an existing hospice, to deliver a world class community with hospice care, a dementia and complex needs nursing home, nursery, assisted living, beautiful landscape and horticulture.
These include a village green, restaurant, village hall, music and art room, children’s nursery, growing gardens with bee keeping and more. The two former grand houses (Main House and Rainbow House) will be retained and repurposed, supporting the sustainable approach. Routes created through the landscape seek to provide clear visual connections, celebrating the retained properties and extending their setting into the landscape to enjoy the beautiful trees and amenity spaces.
At the heart of the scheme is the remodel of the hospice and its Inpatient Unit. Concept designs propose an environment that reflects a family home, giving patients and their families greater independence, privacy and choice during precious moments together. Single rooms have en-suite facilities and incorporate the very latest specialist equipment.
A 60-bed, purpose-built specialist dementia and complex nursing home provides a valuable income stream to support the hospice’s future. The designs are based on collaboration with international dementia experts to provide world class best practice. Households of 10 will allow residents to live in a caring, nurturing and vibrant home that supports independence, mobility and inclusion.
The final part of the project is the development of assisted living accommodation as a further income stream. Rainbow House will be remodelled and refurbished as a community hub to provide the residents lounge, cinema and wellbeing spaces.
The new contemporary building designs respond to the character of the retained properties, Main House and Rainbow House; reflecting their different architectural qualities while respecting their scale and setting.

Choose a few key elements you want to promote

• An exemplar intergenerational development to enhance and support the care provided by the Nursing Home.
• Sustainable remodelling and refurbishment of existing buildings of architectural merit.
• A sustainable network of buildings providing a living and working environment while being net-zero carbon in operation.
• A vibrant and inclusive community that celebrates ageing in place, nursery and hospice care.
• Focus on health and well-being throughout design and operation.
• Creation of new buildings of architectural distinction.
• Delivery of outward facing facilities open to the public.

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Scheme Information


  • Multi-Aspect Apartments
  • Innovative House Types
  • Mews


  • Low density


  • Private Ownership
  • Mixed Use


  • Large New Settlements
  • Community Consultation


  • Brickwork
  • Contemporary Design
  • Local Vernacular
  • Apartment remodelling


  • Managing water use and run off (eg SuDS or water recycling)
  • Embodied energy in construction
  • Biodiversity (eg Building with Nature)

Outdoor areas

  • Private Terraces
  • Roof Gardens
  • Roof Terrace
  • Outside Terrace
  • Biodiversity
  • Garden

Surrounding Area

  • Healthy Streets
  • Landscape
  • Communal Spaces
  • Community Buildings
  • Public open space


  • Over 55s
  • Dementia Care
  • Senior
  • Special Needs Housing
  • Wheelchair
  • Community


In response to the climate emergency, the design sets ambitious targets to be net zero carbon in operation, the following steps have been developed to meet this target: Building fabric: • Re-use the existing buildings where possible. Both Main House and Rainbow House have been identified for refurbishment and the thermal envelope of these will be enhanced. • Our new building design has considered the “Passivhaus” principles: o High air-tightness standards. o High levels of insulation and thermally efficient glazing - a robust building fabric. o Taking account of the potential for solar gain (free heat from the sun) to reduce the need for heating equipment, while taking care to avoid overheating. Heating and cooling strategy: • Primary heating and cooling to the development shall be delivered via ground source heat pump units, the closed ground loops shall be the vertical borehole array type. • Heat pumps will generate Low Temperature Hot Water (LTHW) and Chilled Water (CHW) to serve the air handling plant and terminal heating (and cooling in key areas) devices within each building. • Heating will be delivered via efficient underfloor heating. • The ability of ground source heat pumps to provide active cooling in the summer compliments the design details incorporated to minimise overheating. These include: o Openable windows to encourage natural ventilation. o Apartments are dual aspect, wherever possible to encourage cross ventilation. o Nursing home bedrooms are single aspect allowing openable windows in the corridors. o Solar shading where appropriate. Renewable energy strategy: We are exploring every possibility to generate on-site renewable and low-carbon energy. Initiatives include: • Photovoltaic (PV) panels mounted on the roof levels of the new Assisted Living / Nursing Home / remodelled hospice and Inpatient Unit buildings. Heat pumps to deliver renewable ambient heat taken from below to heat internal spaces in buildings and pre-heat hot water.