Giant palm tree will be part of the new gateway to Torbay
A SIX-metre-high palm tree will form an eye-catching centrepiece for a £20,000 improvement scheme at the Kerswell Gardens roundabout on the entrance into Torquay.
The scheme is being undertaken on behalf of Torbay Council to create a welcoming gateway into Torbay for residents, visitors and businesses alike.
Work, which got under way yesterday, involves clearing and levelling the roundabout.
The centre is being raised by two metres, and will be covered with a blanket of large limestone rocks.
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Reaction to the palm tree plan has been swift on Twitter. Read some of the Tweets here
Torbay Council has sourced a Phoenix Cananensis palm which is being brought in from Spain.
It will be lowered by crane on to the centre of the island, which will be lit at night.
The palm, which is due to arrive early next week, will be in place for three years until changes are made as part of the new South Devon Link Road.
It will remain in the pot it is delivered in and will be transferred to another location or possibly incorporated into the new road layout.
Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver said: "Kerswell Gardens roundabout is a key location, as it is the first feature that people see when they head into Torbay.
"With its comparatively mild climate the Bay is, of course, famous for its palm trees. On this occasion we wanted to make a real impact so we decided to 'go large' by bringing in the six-metre high palm from Spain.
"The palm will be illuminated with solar powered LED lights. This is part of my ongoing policy of improving the physical appearance of Torbay, particularly at its major entrance to the Bay for the benefit of local people and our tourists.
"The tree and the limestone rocks will provide a suitably welcoming sight as people head into the Bay, and indeed leave our many thousands of visitors with an abiding memory when they set off for home.
"This is a beginning of changes made as a result of the start of the bypass last week. We are proud of our three towns and we want to show it and give a good impression that we care."