Campaigners call Trop waste ‘a scandal’
PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 August 2012
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Weston’s derelict Tropicana are calling for North Somerset Council to be prosecuted after news that the Environment Agency (EA) will investigate the ‘contaminated’ waste on site.
Trop (WSM) Ltd, headed by Puxton Park owner Derek Mead, has been fighting to redevelop the building which has lain disused for the past 20 years.
The group has said it is ‘a scandal’ that the Tropicana has been used to store waste and believes the agency should treat the authority in the same way as it would any individual found dumping waste.
Mr Mead said: “I am pleased the EA is looking at the activity of the council. I want to make the site work for the people of Weston but need to know what I am taking on.”
The rubble and waste has been left inside the building from construction works during the seafront redevelopment and the group said this cannot be reused as it has been contaminated by tar and oil.
It said there does not appear to be asbestos in the waste, although a 2009 report which was organised by the council confirmed the presence of asbestos in parts of the building, with recommendations on how the asbestos should be managed.
Trop (WSM) Ltd has lodged a bid to the council to redevelop the building and has battled with the authority ever since executive members voted to pull it down last year.
This has included the team submitting legal action on the council’s application to demolish the former pool.
But the judicial review has since been dismissed by Judge Stephen Morris QC and the application is currently with the Secretary of State for communities and local government Eric Pickles who will decide whether the site will be bulldozed.
The group says it has welcomed the fact that the EA is now investigating.
Planning consultant and member of the Trop (WSM) Ltd, Amanda Sutherland, said: “We have been asking the council for many months what it is doing to dispose of the waste and it has refused to answer.
“The council appear only to have started carrying out an assessment of the waste once it became aware the EA was getting involved.
“We are very glad the agency will be acting to ensure the safe removal of the materials from this heritage building so that we can properly assess the damage the council has done.
“At last an independent body will scrutinise what the council has been up to at the Tropicana.”
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