Updated on Tuesday, October 1
Public lavatories on the Luxford Field car park, Uckfield, look set to come one step closer to demolition on Thursday (October 21).
They have been closed for a long time and now owners, Wealden District Council, wants to knock the loos down and create five more parking spaces.
A decision on their future will be made by the council’s planning committee on Thursday. It will make an independent decision, based on planning reasons.
The application is being referred to committee because it falls outside the scheme of delegation for the reason that the applicant is Wealden District Council.
Councillors will be told the public conveniences at Luxford Field car park were built around 1961 and have been in use since then.
Building in good condition
“They comprise a brick-built, single storey, flat roof building, located to the rear of the telephone exchange on Library Way and at the entrance to the upper part of the car park at Luxford Field.
“The building appears in good condition and well maintained.
“The public conveniences are opposite existing parking bays on three-hour limit, some of which are allocated for parking by disabled users.
“Wealden District Council has reluctantly come to this decision after exhausting possibilities to return these public conveniences to Uckfield Town Council, which voted against taking ownership.
“The district council also offered the public conveniences to the wider community, but no voluntary organisation showed any interest in taking them on.
Community Toilet Scheme
“However, the Community Toilet Scheme operates within Uckfield, sponsored and paid for by Wealden District Council and this is ongoing.”
Uckfield Town Council support the application with a condition that the spaces created must be parent/child and disabled parking bays
One letter of objection was received from Mr Paul Johnson who lives in the High Street.
He wrote: “The toilet facilities in Uckfield are abysmal and parking is under-utilised.
“Forcing the general public to visit pubs and cafes in particular to use their facilities makes the individual uneasy and almost forces them to purchase things they do not want. Nor are they welcome in the establishments concerned (other than the Library).
Uckfield has ‘fallen into a trap’
“The majority of visitors to Luxford Field would welcome the return of these conveniences.
“When questioned they would be happy to accept a token payment towards the upkeep and security of the area. The facilities could be self-financing and a credit to the area.
“Uckfield has again fallen into the trap of thinking that if every other town does it, so can we. This application should be rejected in order that further questioning of the population can take place to ascertain viability.”
Our original story on September 2:
Plans have been submitted to demolish closed public toilets in the Luxford Field car park, Uckfield.
Wealden Council is proposing to replace them with five parking spaces which would be limited to three hours and be monitored by its existing automatic car parking recognition system.
The council says in a document submitted with its planning applicaton that the decision for demolition has been taken with reluctance.
“WDC has exhausted its options for returning them to Uckfield Town Council as they voted in Autumn not to accepte responsibility for ownership.
“Uckfield Town Council offered them to the wider community and no voluntary organisation had shown any interest in retaining them.”
The document says the provision of public toilets will be retained in Uckfield by the Community Toilet Scheme sponsored and paid for by Wealden Council.
Read how town councillors gave up on the idea of re-opening the Luxford car park toilets here.
A previous suggestion was to convert the toilets as a replacement Uckfield Police Station. See: Search stepped up for new police base in Uckfield.