Tropicana demolition decision delayed

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By Prue_Reid | Thursday, January 31, 2013, 09:21

A DECISION on whether Weston-super-Mare's Tropicana can be demolished looks likely to be delayed.

A fresh round of consultation on the plans, ordered by Secretary of State Eric Pickles, started earlier this month and was due to finish on January 24.

But now, following talks with English Heritage, the consultation has now been extended and will finish on Thursday, February 7.

Mr Pickles is reviewing his decision to allow the authority conservation area consent to demolish the landmark after campaign group Trop (WSM) Ltd appealed against the decision, claiming it was flawed.

He is consulting with all those who made comments on the application before making his final ruling on the matter.

If he makes a U-turn and refuses consent it will mean the council will be unable to demolish the Tropicana.

But if he stands by his original decision to agree to conservation area consent, the authority could start work to demolish the landmark before the start of the resort's main tourist season.

Trop (WSM) Ltd has already submitted an outline planning application to redevelop the seafront site into an all year round attraction, with a 50 metre indoor competition pool and outdoor pool.

The consortium has also asked for the council to transfer the ownership of the Tropicana to them for £1 and has pledged to carry out the demolition of the building itself if the scheme is not completed within a three year timescale.

North Somerset Council is also consulting on how it intends to demolish the site - at an estimated cost of £700,000 - if permission is granted.

However a decision on the application has been deferred until a ruling is made by the Secretary of State.

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 have been several attempts to bring the Tropicana back to life over the last several years - each of which has failed.

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