Bethan Evans, Reporter
Friday, May 4, 2012
A NEW development in the Tropicana saga has been hailed a victory by businessmen fighting to save the site.
A second application to demolish Weston’s former pool was lodged by North Somerset Council on April 18.
Trop (WSM) Ltd, headed by Puxton Park owner Derek Mead, has drawn proposals to restore the site to its former glory which would see the Tropicana redeveloped and eventually roofed over and turned into an all-year-round attraction.
Mr Mead said the council’s decision to put in another planning application represented a significant victory for his group.
He said: “One of the main planks of our campaign has been that the council did not consult properly or fully before taking the decision to clear the site.”
The group has already launched judicial review proceedings, claiming the authority failed to consult properly before voting earlier this year to pull down the disused building.
The matter is still with the High Court.
Mr Mead said: “Clearly the prospect of losing in the High Court has now got the council rattled, but it is still not playing the game. The application does not contain any information about our rock-solid proposals for revamping and redeveloping the site, which may well leave the council open to a further legal challenge.
“The people of Weston have shown through their support they would prefer to see the Tropicana retained and reopened and we have ensured they are fully acquainted with the unfortunate attitude the council has taken in this affair.
“It is hardly going to improve the council’s image if it deliberately omits from its planning application information which could have a considerable bearing on whether it succeeds or fails.”
Mr Mead urged everyone to take full advantage of the new opportunity the application provided for them to voice their support for the retention of the Tropicana.
He said: “We know from our own consultations and meetings that there is a massive amount of public backing for our scheme. Now is the time for our supporters to register their views with the council so councillors are fully aware of the strength of public opinion.”
A council spokesman said: “The new application is a duplicate of the one previously submitted which is currently with the Secretary of State.
“We are contesting the judicial review and admit no fault with the original application. The duplicate has been submitted to ensure that, if the Secretary of State grants consent for the application currently before him and the judicial review is not withdrawn, we will have a second consent to implement without the uncertainty of a judicial review hanging over it.”