Tropicana schemes set to be revealed

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 July 2011

Archant

SPECULATION continues this week about who will take on the derelict Tropicana ahead of a day of presentations by developers to North Somerset Council.

A mix of seven individuals and businesses are set to outline their plans for the site to members of a council working party group on July 22.

The group, set up to find a viable future for the former attraction, invited potential developers to put together schemes following the collapse of Richard 
Nightingale’s £19million proposal for the site.

So far, the Mercury has revealed landowner Derek Mead’s plans for a swimming pool and Legend Skatepark’s proposal for a skatepark are among the contenders.

This week, the newspaper understands directors at Weston’s SeaQuarium have met council officers to also discuss potential developments, including one at the Tropicana site.

But managing director at Brean Leisure Park, Richard House, has ruled himself out of the running, saying he had interest ‘years and years ago’, but no current enthusiasm.

He said: “I can’t work with the council in Weston. If they sell it (the Tropicana) to me for £1, I could do something with it, but I won’t work with the council.”

In recent weeks the cross-party working group of councillors has said it will keep its options open for the future use of the site. However, last week, the group’s chairman Elfan Ap Rees said he thought a swimming pool would be unachievable because of the investment and subsidy it would require.

This week another member of the working party, Mike Bell, said he was 
‘disappointed’ by Cllr Ap Rees’ comments.

He said: “He’s right to say that we cannot get a modern all-singing, all-dancing swimming pool – we have made that mistake in the past.

“But I think Councillor Ap Rees has fallen to the wrong conclusion.

“Our aim is to get the site open again. I am willing to concede we need to look at new options but what I don’t want to do is to abandon the idea of a swimming pool.”

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