Paignton
Neighbourhood Forum

Series

Demand the Best

Title

Parkfield House & Gardens

Protagonists

The people of Paignton, Torbay Council

Plot

Parkfield is an estate located at the Preston (north) end of Paignton Green, at the junction with Lower Polsham Road and Esplanade Road. It is council-owned, which presumably means public-owned.

Act Of Intrigue

Increasing rumours that the Council is about to dispose of this asset.

The State of the Place

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Even driving slowly around the twists and turns at the end of the Green, a vehicle’s occupants would not even know Parkfield is there.

It’s well on the way to becoming derelict

In that sense it typifies so much of the run-down state of Paignton.

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Arthur Dendy, who had the house built in the early 1800s, admired the prime location and excellent vista of the house towards the Green and the sea. When we walk along the barely metre-high wall along the front of the estate and we look over the wall, we see a large, completely overgrown, area more like an untouched forest than a suburban patch of land. The growth is four feet high. We have no idea what is it or what’s in there. Cut away the undergrowth (or is it overgrowth?) and we do indeed have a forest setting.

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A walk through the bracken-laden, barely visible, paths leads us to discover a large (stagnant) pond. The pond comes complete with an algae-covered surface and the obligatory floating vodka bottle. The stench and flies are over-powering. As we continue our walk we come across numerous rotting wooden benches (of sorts) each surrounded by discarded plastic bottles, tins, and other “sundry items” of interesting heritage.

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Walking through the overgrown so-called garden is a delicate matter. The grass is so long it is doubtful whether the dog walkers are able to pick up their dog poo. Clearly no attempt is made (even with industrial strimmers), to clear back any of the over-growth. This is what happened to Oldway Mansion. We are interrupted by a dozen youngsters running around the bracken, oblivious to the risk, as young children are.

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The trees are beautiful; the blackberry bushes that snag your clothes as you walk past, less so. (But the blackberries themselves are tasty).

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From the back of the estate we have access to the new Parkfield. A sad story in its own right. The house has a walled (inaccessible) rear garden, a carpark (available to those in-the-know), and a partially-used, partially boarded-up stable block (but no horses).

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If you hang around the grounds long enough you meet interesting people with interesting stories. Like the old guy who turns up regularly with bags of food to feed the… rats.

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Or the elderly lady who has no garden of her own, who is chased out by council employees who tell her she cannot cut back the brambles from the paths because Parkfield is “council land”.

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A couple of friendly people on mobility buggies pointed out that when a gate was installed to block access, it blocked them. Had the post pillars been installed a bit to the right, disabled access would not have been blocked. Sigh.

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From Lower Polsham Road we see the welcoming side entrance to the estate.

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That this has been allowed to happen, to what has been called a “jewel in the crown” in the centre of Paignton, to a house with heritage and amazing grounds, is a disgrace.

Parkfield

  • Reference

    Community bids to take over failing flagship youth centre
    Read More...

    Tuesday 28 November 2017

  • Reference

    Critics say new Parkfield plan is being 'rushed through' by Torbay Council
    Read More...

    Monday 23 April 2018

  • Reference

    Renaissance of Paignton campaign which is battling to save Parkfield
    Read More...

    Monday 30 August 2021

  • Reference

    Campaigners: 'Parkfield key to Renaissance'
    Read More...

    Wednesday 1 September 2021

Last Updated: Friday 26 November 2021

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