'We have still not seen a viable scheme for Trop' - council

PUBLISHED: 08:37 14 September 2013

Cllr Tony Lake

Cllr Tony Lake

Archant

ERIC Pickles' announcement has sparked celebrations among campaigners who have been determined to save the Tropicana.

Despite Derek Mead and Trop (WSM) Ltd having planning permission to rebuild it and demolition not being an option at present, North Somerset Council, as landowner, still needs to give permission for any redevelopment.

The Mercury approached council leader Nigel Ashton to answer a series of questions, given he is chairman of the executive committee which made the decision to apply for the Tropicana’s demolition.

However, he felt Cllr Tony Lake was better placed to answer them as the Tropicana falls within his remit:

Q: Would North Somerset Council agree to discuss the sale of the land to Weston Town Council?

A: We would give serious consideration to any approach from Weston Town Council relating to the Tropicana.

Q: Do you think the conclusion gave a fair balance of both arguments?

A: I think the Secretary of State summed it up perfectly by saying the arguments were finely balanced.

Q: What is the next step for the Tropicana from the council’s point of view?

A: We are considering our position in light of the decision.

Q: Will the council be willing to grant landowner consent to Trop (WSM) Ltd after Mr Pickles’ decision? Are you willing to let the group start redevelopment on the basis that Derek will knock down the Trop himself if the plans do not come through?

A: We have still not seen a viable scheme for redevelopment of the Tropicana from anybody. The decision of the Secretary of State doesn’t suddenly make any existing proposals viable.

Any decision to work with any developer interested in redeveloping the site would be subject to a formal procurement process which would give all interested parties equal opportunity.

Q: We understand you (Cllr Ashton) have a meeting with Cllr Mead on Monday. Do you think an agreement could be made for the Trop’s future by working together?

A: It would not be appropriate for me to comment in advance of a one-to-one meeting between Cllr Mead and the council leader.

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