More red tape to stop Tropicana demolition
By Prue_Reid | Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 15:04
WESTON-SUPER-MARE'S dilapidated Tropicana could be listed as a community asset – as part of a bid to preserve it by the town council.
The Tropicana fight goes on
Under new legislation brought into force under the Localism Act, local community groups - including town and parish councils - can apply for a building or piece of land to be designated as a community asset.
An application is made to North Somerset Council which has to determine whether the asset has community value and whether it adds to the social wellbeing and interest of the community.
If it meets the criteria, the building or piece of land, which could be publicly or privately owned - will be put on a list of assets of community value.
If the council then wished to dispose of the Tropicana - and go ahead with its demolition - a moratorium period of six months will come into force, giving communities and organisations time to make a bid for it.
Weston Town Council has now written to North Somerset Council asking for the Tropicana to be nominated as an asset of community value.
Weston Town Council clerk, Malcolm Nicholson, said: "The town council has made this application as an indication of its view that the Tropicana is of value to the town of Weston super Mare.
" The town council would like the authority to talk to Trop Ltd about its plans for the site, along with any other interested party."
North Somerset Council's permission to demolish the seaside landmark now looks likely to be reviewed following a legal challenge by Trop(WSM) Ltd.
The move comes after Trop (WSM) Ltd appealed against the Government's decision to grant conservation area consent for the building to be pulled down, saying it was flawed.
The High Court granted an injunction preventing the building from being demolished until the appeal is heard on Thursday, November 29.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities, Eric Pickles announced he was to concede the appeal.
Further information will now be submitted by both sides to the court before a decision is taken at the hearing on whether the council can demolish the Tropicana or not.
Trop (WSM) Ltd has already submitted an outline planning application to redevelop the seafront site into an all year round attraction including an indoor 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.
At the same time a consultation has been launched by North Somerset Council on how it intends to demolish the site - at an estimated cost of £700,000.
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.