Mead: I will not let voters forget this decision
PUBLISHED: 11:00 18 August 2012
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Weston’s Tropicana want the council to promise it will not begin demolition work for six weeks, as it plans to appeal the Government’s decision to bulldoze the landmark.
Trop (WSM) Ltd, headed by businessman and farmer Derek Mead, was left bitterly disappointment last week when the Secretary of State Eric Pickles gave North Somerset Council the green light to pull down the former pool.
Despite the group submitting plans to redevelop the site, which has lain derelict since 2000, and transform it into an all-weather facility, Mr Pickles ruled the proposal was ‘not viable’.
In response to this news, Mr Mead said he and his group will not give up and plan to appeal the decision.
He said: “We will be writing to the council as we want to get assurance it will not knock it down next week. If we get some time then we will not serve an injunction.
“We have had great success with the Olympic Games, and here we have a Conservative council knocking down a viable swimming facility.
“There is no rhyme nor reason why the council want to knock it down, and I think the local MP could get caught in the crossfire.
“I think the council want to get it down so the Conservative electorate will forget it, but I won’t let that happen.”
Planning consultant Amanda Sutherland and member of Trop (WSM) Ltd, said the cost of an injunction would be ‘rather ridiculous’ and the group will still try to co-operate with the authority.
She said: “The reality is there are pre-commencement conditions which the council has to adhere to. So we should have six weeks to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision.
“What we plan to do is informally request the council does not start demolition work in those six weeks and that way we have a chance to make a formal challenge in the courts.
“We are planning to appeal on the grounds that the Secretary of State may have mis-directed himself and the courts can then make a decision.
“The main points we will focus on is his comments on the lack of grant funding which we believe is completely incorrect. There are huge examples of different projects that have got off the ground with grant funding and we have had additional business investors come into the group in the past week.”
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