Consultation starts on Tropicana demolition
By Prue_Reid | Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 09:05
PEOPLE are being invited to have their say on how Weston-super-Mare's dilapidated Tropicana will be demolished.
Tropicana - neglected and abandonned
North Somerset Council has drawn up plans on how it intends to take down the one time seafront landmark and return the area to beach.
Council chiefs want the demolition scheme agreed so it can move ahead with knocking down the building.
But members of the south committee said they wanted people to be given the chance to have their say on the plans before making a final decision.
A consultation on the process of how the landmark building will be taken down will now be launched.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, approved a decision by the authority this summer to demolish the one time landmark and return the area to beach.
But campaign group Trop (WSM) Ltd - fighting to redevelop the landmark - appealed against the Government's decision and now the High Court has granted an injunction preventing the building from being demolished until the appeal is heard on November 29.
The move means that no work on demolishing the Tropicana can take place until a ruling is made at the hearing.
A consultation on the methods to be used for the demolition of the Tropicana - expected to cost in the region of £700,000 - will now go out to public consultation.
A final report is expected to go back before the authority's south area committee for approval within the next eight weeks.
The demolition plans including knocking down the building to a minimum level of 2.5 metres below the existing beach level.
The rubble and other materials will be removed from the site and either sent for recycling or licensed tipping.
Safety fencing will be put up around the site and a temporary access will be created from an existing beach access north of the Tropicana.
Demolition will be carried out from inside the building to minimise disturbance and the external walls will be the last part of the Tropicana to come down.
One carriageway of Beach Road will remain open to traffic during the scheme although parking spaces at the front of the building will be temporarily closed off.
Work will be carried put between 8am and 7pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.
No crushing of materials will take place on the site and measures will be taken, such as constructing barriers and using muffling equipment, to limit the noise nuisance.
The site will be inspected on a daily basis to ensure no oil or other pollutants have leaked onto the beach.
North Somerset Council spokesman, Nick Yates, said: "The council is not able to carry out works related to the demolition until the outcome of the High Court hearing.
"This application is to gain a prior approval for how the building is going to be taken down.
"This is not about whether or not we can demolish the building, as we already have consent to do that subject to the judicial review hearing, but it is about how the building will be taken down.
"It is another part of the process which we have to go through."
Consortium Trop (WSM) Ltd, led by businessman and Puxton Park owner Derek Mead, has put forward plans to redevelop the Tropicana into an all year round attraction complete with indoor and outdoor pools.
The Tropicana has lay vacant for 12 years and more recently has been used as a storage depot by contractors Birse during a £29 million project to enhance the resort's sea defences.
There has been several attempts to bring the Tropicana back to life over the last several years - each of which have failed.