'Fawlty Towers' hotel in Torquay to be demolished

Basil Fawlty and Fawlty Towers
Image caption The Gleneagles Hotel did not feature in the show but was the inspiration for Fawlty Towers

The hotel that inspired Fawlty Towers is to be knocked down and replaced with retirement flats.

John Cleese based the TV sitcom on the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay after staying there with the Monty Python team in 1973.

Churchill Retirement Living will convert the site after its plans were approved by Torbay Council.

Former owner Donald Sinclair unwittingly became the inspiration for Cleese's character Basil Fawlty.

The 41-bedroom hotel ceased trading early this year and Churchill Retirement Living applied to use the site for 36 retirement apartments.

Image caption The Hotel Gleneagles closed its doors in February 2015

Torbay Council's development management committee originally denied the application as they felt it was "too large and unsympathetic to the area".

A smaller, revised scheme was accepted by the council.

It will involve knocking down the three-star hotel and building 21 one-bed and 11 two-bedroom apartments, with a guest suite and two communal lounges.

Planning officers allowed the change of use of the site from tourist accommodation to residential as the former hotel was found to be "commercially unviable".

Fawlty Towers, voted number one in the British Film Institute's 100 Greatest Television Programmes in 2000, ran for just 12 episodes.

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