Trop decision to be revealed this month

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 June 2013 | UPDATED: 13:59 04 June 2013

Derek Mead.

Derek Mead.

Archant

AFTER years of protests, plans and persistence from campaigners the final decision on whether Weston's Tropicana will remain or be knocked off the seafront will be revealed this month.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles launched one last round of consultations last month, while he reviews the decision on whether to give North Somerset Council consent to bulldoze the former pool.

The decision process has been watched closely by protesters of Trop WSM Ltd – headed by Puxton Park owner Derek Mead – after they submitted plans to redevelop the crumbling building and ‘give it back’ to the community.

The group’s scheme has already received planning permission from the authority – which includes building an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an outdoor water park, restaurant and shops.

But to make these ideas a reality, Mr Mead and his band of passionate campaigners still need landowner consent from North Somerset – something which is not yet certain as councillors are waiting on Mr Pickles’ decision.

Mr Mead said: “Until we get the nod from the council that it is willing to give in and hand it over as a community project, then it’s no good dreaming.

“Once we sit down, sort it out and get the landowner consent, we can apply for funding. And the Mead group is backing it.

“We have been keen to see the pool brought back to life and eagerly await his (Mr Pickles’) decision, and hope he refuses demolition.”

The first round of consultation began in January, where comments were obtained from all parties which submitted representations regarding the application for demolition.

The second round – which allows for further review and for parties to make any final comment – will end today (Thurs).

Any representations submitted in this final consultation will be re-circulated to all the parties for a further two weeks - then the decision will be made.

If Mr Pickles refuses consent the council will be unable to demolish the Tropicana, which has lain derelict for the past 12 years.

But if he agrees to the conservation area consent, the building could be wiped off Weston’s seafront after the summer tourist season.

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