‘Disaster’ for town if the Tropicana is demolished

GRAND Pier co-owner Kerry Michael has appealed to district chiefs not to demolish the Tropicana, labelling any plan to do so ‘a disaster for Weston’.

The world-famous attraction’s owner this week expressed his frustration at the collapse of Richard Nightingale’s multi-million pound plan to rebuild the derelict site.

The planned water park scheme was the third regeneration bid for the Tropicana to fail, leaving many people fearing for the end for the landmark pool site.

Last week, the Mercury revealed the likely outcome for the former attraction was for it to be levelled, at a cost of around �1million.

But Mr Michael, who opened his �51million Grand Pier last October, has called on council bosses not to give up on rebuilding the site.

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He said: “I am hugely disappointed by the news – since opening the pier we’ve seen the impact it has had on people locally and we were really looking forward to the next positive step, and the Tropicana would have been it.

“It would have given everyone a lift, but now, like the next man in Weston, I am frustrated by the whole saga and I’m really not sure where we go from here.

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“But, whatever they do, I really hope they don’t bulldoze it - that would just be disaster for Weston and would show very little imagination for the site.

“I would like to see a leisure development at the site, but quite who is going to do that is another matter.”

The Grand Pier opening has been followed by the building of Pier Square and unveiling of plans for a leisure complex at Dolphin Square.

However, Mr Nightingale’s proposed water park will not be joining the seafront redevelopment following the withdrawal of his scheme last week.

The businessman, who planned a swimming pool, ice rink and cinema at the site, blamed stalemate negotiations over parking and development size with council officers.

But, in response, the council claimed officers had worked hard to find a way forward for his bid.

An authority spokesman said: “The council has worked hard to be as accommodating as possible to Mr Nightingale’s requests and has done its utmost to support him.

“Like many people in North Somerset, the council feels strongly about the Tropicana site, but following three separate unsuccessful schemes for the Tropicana over the past 10 years, the council will now need to consider carefully the future of the site.”

Rubble from the Pier Square works currently sits in the Tropicana site and surrounding seafront, but North Somerset Council was unable to answer when this would be removed as the Mercury went to press.

What do you think should happen to the Tropicana site?

Should it be flattened or not?

email: newsdesk@westonmercury.co.uk

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