Toilets at the top of Luxfords car park, Uckfield, which look set to be demolished.

Town councillors give up on idea of re-opening Luxford car park toilets

Uckfield town councillors have shelved the idea of investing money in the re-opening of public toilets at the top of Luxfords car park.

General purposes committee members had asked for an investigation into the feasibility of the suggestion but the costs, coupled with the likelihood of the building being demolished in the future, have put them off.

The disused toilets are owned by Wealden District Council and a report to the town council’s general purposes committee last night said that the district would only consider a 12-month lease/licence for use of the toilets because the land might be included in town centre regeneration.

The report said there was no likelihood of Uckfield Town Council being able to secure the freehold of the site but it was likely that the lease/licence would be renewed until the land was needed.

It was thought the capital cost of refurbishment would be in the region of £10,000 to £15,000 with the district and town councils sharing the cost.

The running costs for a year, water, sewerage, electricity, repairs and cleaning amounted to £14,000 based on costs from 2012. Rates would be about £3,000 for a year.

That meant, councillors were told, that the first year costs would be in the region of £23,250 with subsequent annual costs being in the region of £17,500.

Town clerk Ashley Serpis said last night that if town councillors ruled out investing in the toilets now they would not have another chance to do so because the district council was likely to demolish them within the next financial year to save on business rates and the cost of utilities.

Cllr James Anderson (Trust Independent, North) said: “It is a shame because we do need toilets within the town centre but I would caution against spending taxpayers’ money when in the future the toilets could be knocked down.”

Councillors decided instead to concentrate their efforts on considering a complete refurbishment of the external public toilets at Victoria Pleasure Ground where a growing number of people were spending time as sporting facilities were improved.

One possibility is to convert the toilets to be coin-operated.

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