Bethan Evans, Reporter
Thursday, May 17, 2012
BUSINESSMEN campaigning to save Weston’s Tropicana have released their own video to show North Somerset Council that residents want the site to stay on the seafront.
The seven-minute video features residents of the town talking about the building and their backing for a proposal to turn it into a major, all-weather tourist attraction.
The council has submitted two application to demolish the former pool, which has been sent to the Secretary of State for a final decision.
But Trop (WSM) Ltd, headed by farmer and property developer Derek Mead, has submitted a business plan to the council to take over and restore the building.
And the video, produced by Weston’s Digital Photo Studio, underlines the high level of local support for the rescue plan.
Studio spokesman Kirsten Hemingway said the production gave the strongest possible indication to the council that people favoured the retention, rather than the demolition of the Tropicana.
She said: “We support the idea, too, and we felt this was one way of providing some practical backing to the campaign.”
The group has also launched a judicial review of the first demolition application the council submitted, claiming the authority had no right to do so. Now the council has drawn up and lodged a fresh application but Trop (WSM) Ltd say that is also flawed and is considering submitting a second judicial review.
Mr Mead said: “The application makes no mention of our proposals, our costings or our business plan or all the other information we have provided the council with. It’s as though we don’t exist.
“The council cannot simply ignore our presence or our proposals when it goes to public consultation with this application because it will only be giving people half the picture.
“Unless our plans are included in the general information about the current state of play I very much fear we shall be considering yet another legal challenge. It’s regrettable, but if that’s the only way we can get the council to play by the proper rules, then so be it.”
The video is due to be officially launched at the studio in Locking Road on May 22, but is also available now through YouTube.
At the same event children from Lancaster House Primary School in Weston will be presenting their own plans for the future of the Tropicana, with a prize for the best one.