Report by Alex Evans and Bethan Evans, Reporter
Saturday, April 21, 2012
IT COULD take several months until a final decision on demolishing the Tropicana in Weston can be made.
North Somerset Council has been told by the Secretary of State that it needs to submit proof it has publicly advertised its application to knock the derelict pool site down.
Once it does submit the evidence to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for communities and local Government, he will then aim to make his decision on whether the pool can be knocked down within 13 weeks.
But that period will not even begin until the council submits proof it has put out a public notice about its demolition application - which it has not yet done, according to the minister’s office.
A spokesman for the Secretary of State said: “The Tropicana is within a conservation area. When a demolition request regarding something in a conservation area comes in, as part of the regulations the local authority needs to place adverts saying what it wants to do.
“It needs to provide proof to the department once it has placed the advert.
“Once received, that is when the department can move towards making a decision.
“We aim to do that in a 13-week period. It is a target and in most cases that is what happens.”
North Somerset Council is aware that it needs to provide this proof but it has not yet done so, she said.
The 13-week period is not related to the 28-day deadline for the judicial review, she said, as it is a planning issue.
Councillors voted last month to ask the Government for the go-ahead to demolish the derelict landmark.
Members of Trop (WSM) Ltd, headed by Puxton Park owner Derek Mead, have been fighting to save the site and the group has also formed a business plan to restore the Tropicana, which includes an Olympic size pool, shops and restaurants.
Trop (WSM) Ltd has also served the council with a judicial review, alleging the council failed to comply with national policy by refusing to consider the group’s business plan as a viable option to save the site.
While the group has tried more than half a dozen times to meet with executive members to discuss its plans, North Somerset Council is now refusing to talk to Trop (WSM) Ltd until the challenge is withdrawn or concluded.