Businessmen put �4.6million Trop plan to the public

HUNDREDS of Weston residents visited the Winter Gardens last night (Wed) to view the latest plans from businessmen fighting to save the Tropicana from demolition.

Trop (WSM) Ltd – headed by farmer and Puxton Park owner Derek Mead – invited the public to view its �4.6million business plan and ideas for the former pool, which were well received by the majority who attended.

An application for demolition is currently being finalised by North Somerset Council to send to the Secretary of State – who has the final decision.

Despite the group making 11 attempts to present its business plan to executive members, it has been denied each time.

Mr Mead said: “We still want to move this plan forward but we have a council that wants to flatten the site. I think it’s durable and that it’s got a great future but the pressure is now on.”

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Roger Ellams, the group’s architect of Angus Meek Ltd, presented the central features and ideas for the former pool which included keeping the footprint of the building and incorporating a covered Olympic swimming pool, rapid and water slides, a health spa and shops.

And Paul Hake, the group’s accountant of Albert and Goodman Partners, outlined eight different sources of grant funding that could become available to the group as a charitable trust, in addition to seeking the money earmarked for demolition, the possibility of a council precept and backing from the Mead Group.

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Local hotelier John Christopher, who owns Milton Lodge guest house in Milton Road, said: “There are not many places to visit on bad weather days and this would be a dream come true if the group succeed.”

But some concern was raised at the meeting by residents and members of the council in regards to securing the millions needed to bring the Tropicana back to life.

Conservative councillor Sonia Russ� said: “I think these plans are great and it would look fantastic.

“But if this is really what the people of Weston want they may have to accept that they are going to have to put their hand in their pocket.

“Perhaps a �100 bond could be set up, which residents could donate.”

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