Tropicana given stay of execution
By Prue_Reid | Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 15:47
WESTON'S Tropicana has been given a stay of execution – after campaigners were granted an injunction preventing it from being demolished.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, approved a decision by North Somerset Council this summer to demolish the one time landmark and return the area to beach.
North Somerset's powerful executive agreed in December to demolish the Tropicana and a planning application was submitted.
But because the Tropicana lies within a conservation area, approval Mr Pickles, was needed before demolition could start.
Campaign group Trop (WSM) Ltd 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.
Judge Mark Ockleton ordered a suspension of the decision after campaigners claimed the decision was flawed.
Trop (WSM) Ltd, led by Puxton Park owner Derek Mead, want to redevelop the Tropicana and return it to an all year round attraction with indoor and outdoor pools.
It is hoped the main pool would be of an Olympic size, complete with diving boards, and attract lane swimmers.
There would also be two, smaller pools outside which would be heated and include water flumes and slides.
On the ground floor there would also be a number of retail units including shops and restaurants while on the second floor there are plans to include a gym, thermal bath and sauna.
There are also plans to put a 200-300 space car park on the beach and it is hoped to be able to use the sands once a year for an outdoor concert to help raise money to run the attraction.
Trop (WSM) Ltd spokesman, Derek Mead, said: "We are delighted with the support of the High Court in our battle to save this landmark building.
"We are hopeful that this reprieve will give us the opportunity to further demonstrate to North Somerset Council decision makers that our plans remain viable and that the site is worth saving, allowing us to deliver this exciting beachside facility to the residents of Weston-super-Mare and North Somerset.
"We continue to receive huge support for our plans for the site from a large number of town and North Somerset councillors, local businesses, residents and visitors to the area."
As part of its appeal to the High Court, Trop (WSM) Ltd said Mr Pickles 'unreasonably concluded' that the Tropicana had not been subject to deliberate neglect and disrepair.
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.
North Somerset Council spokeswoman, Zoe Briffitt, said: "There is an injunction served preventing us from carrying out demolition until after November 29 when the judge will consider the judicial review application into the secretary of state's decision for demolition to go ahead.