Developer withdraws bid for Weston's Tropicana pool

Ocean liner design for the Tropicana
Image caption A previous scheme to regenerate the site was hit by the recession

One of the preferred bidders for the redevelopment of the derelict Tropicana on Weston-super-Mare's seafront has pulled out.

The developer Havard Tisdale said the project to transform the old swimming pool was no longer viable for them.

Both their plans and those of their competitor, Nightingale Group, were due to go on display on Friday for residents to have their say.

North Somerset Council said the exhibition had now been cancelled.

A spokesman for Havard Tisdale said it could not move forward with the development in a way which would ever see the plans come to fruition.

He said: "Unfortunately, the sums are simply not adding up for Havard Tisdale.

"Since it first started to put together its bid proposal, over a year ago, many factors have changed, both in terms of the details of this project, but also with the progress of other sites in the town.

"Build costs have also continued to increase for what is a very unusual site, whilst the financial yields required to ensure a viable return from the proposed new uses, including a hotel, have fallen considerably.

"As a result Havard Tisdale no longer considers its proposals for the Tropicana to be feasible or deliverable in the current climate or in their current format."

'Much-loved site'

One of the firm's directors, Peter Tisdale, said: "The Tropicana is clearly a much-loved site locally.

"The overriding comment we received from the local community is a desire to see this site brought forward and redeveloped and we wish the Nightingale Group every success with its proposals and we look forward to seeing the site's redevelopment."

The leader of North Somerset Council, Councillor Nigel Ashton, said: "We have been working closely with both bidders to ensure their schemes are both deliverable and viable and we are disappointed that Havard Tisdale have concluded that they are unable to achieve a commercially viable scheme.

"We are still obliged to follow the EU procurement process, but are hopeful this can be concluded sooner now that there is only one bidder involved.

"We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Nightingale Group on their proposals."

A previous scheme to regenerate the site by construction firm Henry Boot was hit by the recession.

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