Right to contest could help rebuild the Trop

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 May 2014

Tropicana

Tropicana

Archant

WESTON councillors have called for using a new right under the Localism Act to help refurbish the Tropicana.

Members of Weston Town Council discussed the ‘right to contest’ under the Localism Act, during the authority’s policy and finance committee meeting on Monday.

The right allows businesses, community groups or individual members of the public to ask ministers for unused or surplus land owned by public bodies to be put to better use.

This could be through new homes or business development and also includes buildings that are still in use but where operations could be moved to a different location.

Councillors highlighted the former pool as a spot which could benfit from the right, as it has been derelict for the past 14 years.

The Trop Trust hopes to revamp the seafront site, despite North Somerset Council’s efforts to demolish it.

The trust, which includes councillors, MP John Penrose, the Mead Group headed by Derek Mead and members of the town’s Hotel and Restaurants’ Association, is currently awaiting the outcome of a £1million application to the Regional Growth Fund.

Councillor Robert Payne said: “The obvious place of unused land is the Tropicana.

“The problem with solving the Trop is it has been owned by North Somerset Council which does not want to do anything positive with it.

“If we can use this to help solve the problems of the Trop, I think that would be excellent.”

Cllr Richard Tucker added: “I echo Robert’s comments and I am sure we will have councillors from all three parties that would go with that sentiment.”

Town council clerk Malcolm Nicholson said he will contact the trust’s solicitor to see if the right to contest can help its proposal.

He added: “The right concerns surplus or redundant land that could be put to better use.

“There is a right for anyone – business, community groups or individual members of the public to put forward proposals to use that land for something else.

“They can put forward these proposals and show why the land is surplus and put in an alternative idea.”

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