Solicitors for the Saltdean Lido lessee Dennis Audley have said that he would actively consider giving up his lease.
Talks are to be held soon.
The move follows a letter from Brighton and Hove City Council to Mr Audley’s company Power Fitness Ltd or PFL.
The letter urged him to negotiate the terms of an agreed surrender of the lease.
Geoffrey Bowden, the Green council’s cabinet member for culture, recreation and tourism, reported back on progress at a meeting yesterday (Tuesday 7 February).
Councillor Bowden said that a surveyor had been appointed to value the grade II* listed lido.
The council will use the surveyor’s report to assess the likely surrender value of the lease and the amount to be paid if a compulsory purchase order is made.
David Murray, the council’s strategic director of commnities, told the meeting that compulsory purchase would be a last resort.
Labour councillor Brian Fitch said that it was important that the council should be prepared to step in and force the surrender of the lease if necessary.
The council’s planning enforcement team is expected to send Mr Audley a warning letter about the state of the lido, which has been the subject of a campaign by worried residents.
A surveyor is assessing whether the council should serve a listed building repairs notice on Mr Audley – a step urged by Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby at a council meeting last year.
Councillor Bowden also reported that the lessee met council planners to discuss PFL’s plans for the site but these were not favourably received.
He added that the council was trying to ensure that its actions did not prejudice the position of the Saltdean Community Association which has an interest in the lido site.