Bid to stave off Tropicana demolition is voted down

PUBLISHED: 10:00 13 January 2012

Weston's Tropicana is set for demolition.

Weston's Tropicana is set for demolition.

Archant

TIME is running out for Weston's Tropicana, as the latest bid to halt a decision to demolish the seafront pool has failed - meaning the site could be reduced to sand by the summer.

The decision, made by North Somerset Council’s executive in November, was called in by Weston-based councillors Richard Tucker and Catherine Gibbons to the community and corporate organisation policy and scrutiny panel meeting last week.

But despite attempts to convince the panel to reconsider demolishing the derelict pool, nine members voted to bring out the bulldozers, with only six voting to refer it to the full council.

It was announced at the meeting that a planning application - a necessary step for demolition - has now been submitted, meaning the Tropicana could be consigned to Weston’s history by the summer.

Speaking during the panel’s meeting, councillor Richard Tucker said: “The decision to demolish the Tropicana was made by a number of non-Weston members and we feel this is a decision that affects Weston’s heritage and should be given to Weston to sort out.”

Proposals were also submitted by councillors Mark Canniford and Deborah Yamanaka for the council to mothball the issue.

Cllr Canniford said: “I think if we removed it from Weston seafront completely you can pretty much forget a facility being put there. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and it won’t come back.”

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees said: “Saying this has been a quick decision is not true. It has been 10 years of trying to find an answer for the Trop.”

Now Weston’s hopes of seeing a swimming pool back in the site lie with the group Trop Ltd, which includes businessmen Giulio Ellis, Puxton Park owner Derek Mead and Grand Pier owner Kerry Michael.

The group has previously asked for the support of the council to save it.

Mr Mead said after being refused a meeting with council leader Nigel Ashton and Cllr Ap Rees, the group has secured a meeting with Karuna Tharmananthar, the assistant director of development and environment at the council. That meeting is due to take place today (Thurs).

Mr Mead said: “I think the decision to demolish is a disgrace. We really want to meet with the council to know where we stand. There has been so much information passed around about what is wrong with the site and we want that qualified.

“I do not think there is any problem with funding, the main problem is the will to sort it out. But we are not going to let it drop.”

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