Bethan Evans, Reporter
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
A JUDICIAL review into plans to demolish Weston’s Tropicana has been refused by the High Court after the judge claimed the application was ‘unarguable.’
Leader of North Somerset Council Nigel Ashton said he was pleased the review - which was launched by campaign group Trop (WSM) Ltd - has failed but was not surprised after judge Stephen Morris declined the legal proceedings.
Cllr Ashton said: “This is welcome news. This application has fallen at the first hurdle which is a good indication as to the lack of strength in the case they were putting forward.”
Council executives decided to demolish the former pool last year but because it lies within a conservation area, the application needs the approval of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles.
Trop (WSM) Ltd, headed by Puxton Park owner Derek Mead, launched its legal challenge after claiming the council failed to consult properly before voting earlier this year to pull down the disused building.
Cllr Ashton said: “From the outset we said we would robustly defend our position - that is what we have done and I am very pleased at the outcome.
“We have been at great pains to follow correct procedure and I am glad that we are not wasting any more public money on a case which clearly has no merit.
“Instead, our full attention can be focused on now getting permission from secretary of state, Mr Eric Pickles, to demolish the old buildings and further improve Weston’s seafront and seek to attract even more inward investment to the area.”
Mr Mead said: “I find it very peculiar that we were not notified that the review was declined. Why has the High Court notified the council and not us?
“I don’t know what has happened. It seems that Nigel Ashton is pleased to go against the majority of the Weston population.
“I find it a disgusting state of affairs and we will get to the bottom of it.”