Tropicana - don’t give Henry the Boot

Debates rage as Henry Boot s proposals for the new designs of the Tropicana, or as it may be known soon Lifestation@Tropicana , are finally considered by North Somerset Council. But with a


Debates rage as Henry Boot's proposals for the new designs of the Tropicana, or as it may be known soon 'Lifestation@Tropicana', are finally considered by North Somerset Council.

But with a petition boasting 20,000 signatures opposing the plans, surely the council won't follow through with the building.

That is certainly the belief of those who have worked hard to collect the signatures of the many residents opposing the scheme, but I personally hope the council sees through the objections and gives Henry Boot the go-ahead.

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When I was presented with the plans Henry Boot were submitting, the dates it expected to work to and the facilities that would be on offer - I was amazed that anyone could oppose it.

The new design boasts a swimming pool and other water facilities (which I am sure all locals support), but adding to this there is a plaza, new shops, well known restaurants and an indoor skate park - something the youth of Weston have wanted for a while now.

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This is where the key problem lies - there has been a lack of consultation with the youth of Weston; a vital demographic who are likely to benefit (or detriment, depending on your opinion) the most from the venture.

In all of Boot's consultations, around 70 per cent were over the age of 60, and there is a very low percentage of those under the age of 18, which suggests the voice of young people is not being heard loud and clear.

But, a very loud and clear message came from the North Somerset Youth Parliament last month, who represent young people from all across the constituency, in unanimously voting that they would support the proposals - on the condition that consultation with young people would take place and facilities would be made affordable for the young people using them.

This gives a clear message to Henry Boot that the young people support the idea in principle, as long as when the 'Lifestation' materialises, it is made accessible to all.

It is likely many local residents will respond to this article: "In my day all we had was a pool and it was fantastic."

However, in 2008, the present, why should we deny Weston a brilliant venture based on what was there in the past.

Of course the building poses risks and concerns, such as parking and capacity, but we should embrace change - not fear it. Let's not leave the Tropicana to rot for another 10 years, just because of the past, for I want to be able to say 50 years down the line: "In my day, we didn't just have a pool, we had a whole complex, and it was fantastic!

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