Swimming pool 'unachievable' for Trop

PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 July 2011 | UPDATED: 13:29 08 July 2011

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees with Grand Pier in background.; 29-7-08

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees with Grand Pier in background.; 29-7-08

Archant

BUILDING another swimming pool on the site of the derelict Tropicana would be 'unachievable', the leader of the group charged with its future has claimed.

Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, chairman of the North Somerset Council working group set up to find a viable future for the former amenity, said a pool would require such a massive investment that it would be unlikely to succeed.

As the cross-party group considers seven proposals put forward to take over the site, he said it was important to keep people’s expectations realistic as to the future development of the site.

Cllr Ap Rees, the council’s deputy leader, said: “A swimming pool would be unachieveable I think because of the investment and ongoing subsidy it would require.

“When it was open, the Trop was costing us [North Somerset Council] a quarter of a million pounds a year to subsidise, probably twice that now so I really think a pool would be unlikely, certainly in the near-term.

“I’d never say never, if a significant seafront development came up with a lot of investment behind it then who knows , but it would have to have a lot of money behind it to succeed.”

Seven proposals, including one from Derek Mead of the Mead Group and one from Legend Skatepark have been submitted to the group, and Cllr Ap Rees said the bidders would try to convince members with presentations of their ideas on July 22.

He continued: “A lot of people still haven’t realised the difference between what’s achievable and what isn’t.We’ve had three high profile and high cost failures.We can’t repeat that.

“I just want people to be realistic and I don’t want Councillors going out there and making more promises when experience has shown that it’s not achievable, I would rather go to the public with something honest that we know can be done and not stir up unreal expectation.”

The Tropicana closed in 2000, and has been the subject of three failed bids since, with Weston businessman Richard Nightingale’s £19million proposal the last to fall short in March.

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