Somerset

Derelict Tropicana costs North Somerset Council £121,890

A derelict swimming pool on Weston-super-Mare's seafront has cost a council £121,890, it has emerged.

Since 2004, North Somerset Council has spent the money mainly on property consultants and getting legal advice on transforming the Tropicana.

In that time, three developers had shown interest and then pulled out of developing the site.

The council said it felt "strongly" about the pool, and it would now need to consider carefully its future.

The building, which enjoyed its heyday in the 1960s, has been empty since 2000.

A Freedom of Information Act request by the BBC found that in 2005-06, £52,745 was spent.

More than £36,000 of that figure paid for consultants, when councillors voted to approve developer Henry Boot's £48m scheme.

On Thursday it was announced The Nightingale Group, the latest developer to have shown an interest in developing the site, had withdrawn from the project.

Plans had included a swimming pool, ice rink and cinema in an ocean liner-style building.

But the scheme fell through when talks between Nightingale's architects and the council collapsed.

Conservative council leader Nigel Ashton said he was "very disappointed".

The council spent £28,157 on those plans.

In a statement, the council said: "Costs have been incurred in marketing the site, getting advice from property consultants and also obtaining independent legal advice.

"We would expect there to be these type of costs associated with projects of this nature.

"Like many people in North Somerset, the council feels strongly about the Tropicana site but following three separate unsuccessful schemes for the Tropicana over the past ten years, the council will now need to consider carefully the future of the site."

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