Minister to review Trop demolition
PUBLISHED: 13:30 14 January 2013
SECRETARY of State Eric Pickles will review his decision on whether to allow the demolition of Weston’s Tropicana – and will deliver a fresh verdict after a three-week consultation period.
This session will give the Secretary for Communities and Local Government time to reconsider his decision to give North Somerset Council permission to pull down the former pool, which has lain derelict for the more than 12 years.
This comes after campaigning group Trop (WSM) Ltd, headed by Puxton Park owner Derek Mead, appealed against Mr Pickles’ decision.
The appeal claimed Mr Pickles had not considered the authority’s failure to maintain the crumbling pool building and damage caused by allowing the site to be used for waste dumping.
The Secretary of State then revealed he would not be contesting the legal challenge, which was lodged through the High Court.
Mr Pickles will now talk to all parties who offered comments on the application before the consultation ends on January 24.
If he decides to back Trop (WSM) Ltd’s view then the council will be unable to bulldoze the seafront site - but if Mr Pickles holds firm to his original decision, the Tropicana could be cleared from Weston’s seafront by the summer.
Mr Mead and his consortium have spent the past year campaigning to revitalise the building and have already submitted outline planning permission to the authority.
Trop (WSM) Ltd’s plan includes an Olympic sized swimming pool, splash pool, changing facilities, shops and restaurants to create an all-year attraction.
The group has also included plans to create a temporary music stage and health and fitness facilities.
Mr Mead said: “We eagerly await his (Mr Pickles’) decision and hope he refuses demolition.
“We have been keen to see the pool brought back to life and our recent application to the planning team demonstrates we have a well-thought-through scheme to refurbish and refit the building to create a high quality swimming and leisure facility.”
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