Tropicana skatepark not wanted - claim

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 July 2011

Pictures from inside the Tropicana with councillers  and press looking around.; 21-12-04

Pictures from inside the Tropicana with councillers and press looking around.; 21-12-04

Archant

A SKATEPARK is not the answer to the question hanging over the future of the Tropicana, one member of an appointed panel of councillors has claimed.

A week ago, the Mercury reported how Legend Skatepark Community Interest Company (CIC) wants to build a skating facility at the derelict seafront site.

And although the group has yet to formally present the idea to specialist Tropicana working party, the idea has already provoked opposition from one member of the panel.

North Somerset councillor Richard Tucker, who sits on the cross-party group, this week told the Mercury a skatepark ‘would not be welcomed’ by town residents.

The councillor, whose ward is Weston East, said: “I have warned the working party that Weston people would not welcome the idea they are toying with in putting a skatepark there.

“All residents talk about is a pool of some kind. Look at how successful the town council’s water play park is - something of that kind on the Tropicana site would be a hit with the public.”

At the working party’s last meeting on June 17, councillors asked officers to work out the cost of refurbishing the current building.

The panel also enquired about the cost of a retractable roof at the site to potentially make it available for all-year-round use.

Cllr Tucker said: “We want something a bit more imaginative for the site.

“A restoration project for a retro-themed lido pool would be my preference.”

CIC is one of seven individuals or businesses which have proposals for the Tropicana.

The group’s idea came after a previous plan for an indoor sport facility in Winterstoke Road fell through.

In response to Cllr Tucker’s comments, CIC spokesman Nikki Stabbins said: “You are always going to have people against an idea for the Tropicana which is not a swimming pool. But if nothing comes to fruition, then surely it is better to have something at the site than to let it go to wrack and ruin.”

The working party of 10 North Somerset councillors was set up last month to lead the task of clearing the site and exploring its future use.

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