Campaigners' delight at Tropicana legal victory
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Weston-super-Mare's Tropicana from demolition have won a legal victory.
The Government will look again at its decision to allow North Somerset Council to knock down the former open-air pool after deciding not to oppose a High Court challenge.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles approved the council's decision this summer to remove the landmark, which enjoyed special protection as it is in a conservation area, and reinstate the beach at the site.
But campaign group Trop (WSM) Ltd appealed against Mr Pickles' decision, claiming it was flawed, and the High Court granted an injunction preventing the building from being demolished pending an appeal on November 29.
Now campaigners have been told that Mr Pickles is to concede the appeal, which means that he must now reconsider the council's application for consent to demolish the building.
Trop (WSM) Ltd spokeswoman Amanda Sutherland said: "We are delighted that the Secretary of State will now review his decision and we look forward to further details in the coming weeks."
Trop (WSM) Ltd has already submitted an outline planning application to redevelop the seafront site into an all-year-round attraction.
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.
North Somerset Council spokesman Nick Yates said: "We understand that the Secretary of State will now need to reconsider the council's application for conservation area consent to demolish the building.
"We must make it clear there is no suggestion that the council has not followed the correct procedure. The High Court challenge is a matter between Trop (WSM) Ltd and the Secretary of State."