Chichester toilets set to close

A Chichester city centre toilet block is set to close to save money.

Chichester District Council moved forward with its cost cutting plans which would see the East Pallant public conveniences closed by April.

It’s estimated it would save the council £19,900, and once closed, the block will be demolished to make way for more money spinning parking spaces.

The closure is just one of a number of council run toilets earmarked for closure to save an estimated £91,000 a year by 2012-2013, a decision on which is expected to be rubber stamped at the next full council meeting.

It was discussed at CDC’s executive board on Tuesday, where the board heard that local authorities were not legally obliged to provide the service. Council leader Cllr Myles Cullen said the council had been quite generous in what it provided throughout the district, but the time had come to look at this seriously, and consider what they owed the public.

The move has angered members of the public who felt the council was obliged to keep it going.

Vice chairman of the Chichester Disabled Access Group Janet Copeland said: “I think it’s terrible, there are not enough toilets around in Chichester as it is.

“As far as I can tell they are in good order.”

Jenny Freeman who was visiting from Liss, said: “If people are visiting Chichester from some distance they would probably want to have access to toilet facilities, and especially mums with young children.”

The board heard that some authorities had taken all their public conveniences off their books. The district council still had a balanced approach to what was required, with toilets in strategic locations.

A board report indicated that, for the future, plans will be maintained to redevelop conveniences at Bracklesham Lane, Bracklesham, East Beach, Selsey, and Priory Park, Chichester, should ‘corporate schemes’ progress.

Board members agreed to confirm a previous decision that the East Street, Selsey, site should be closed at the end of January, declared surplus to requirements, and disposed of for development.

Other approved recommendations that will go before the full council meeting for a final approval include:

n To confirm that the Crossfield, Fernhurst, site should be mothballed, with the position to be reviewed after 12 months to see if the new National Park Authority has come forward with an offer of funding;

n To close the Itchenor site in three months;

n To negotiate the surrender of a lease relating to the Harting site, with a view to closure.