Tory hits out at plans to knock down Portsmouth toilet blocks

KNOCKDOWN The toilet block in Bransbury Park that is set to be demolished
KNOCKDOWN The toilet block in Bransbury Park that is set to be demolished
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PLANS to demolish three of Portsmouth’s public toilets have come under fire.

Cllr Luke Stubbs thinks the city council shouldn’t be wasting tens of thousands of pounds pulling down loos at Bransbury Park, Highland Road and Milton Park.

He said businesses should be asked if they want to take over the buildings because they’re not that old.

They’re due to close on Monday because the council needs to save money.

People who use the Bransbury Park facility will then need to go to Eastney Community Centre during office hours.

The council has failed to attract bidders for the Bransbury Park and Milton Park sites because they are in parkland.

The Highland Road site will be turned into houses.

Demolition work will start at the end of next month and cost about £35,000.

Cllr Stubbs, deputy Conservative group leader, said: ‘The building at Bransbury Park only dates from the 1980s so it has quite a bit of life left in it.

‘I don’t want public toilets to close at all.

‘It would be better if the council found alternative uses for them and not have to pay for demolition.

‘If someone can run a business from them, then that would be great. When making a decision to close these toilets the council should have taken into account the full cost of these closures.’

The council has closed toilets at Hilsea Lido and Marsden Road and another eight – at White Hart Road, South Parade Kiosk, Paradise Street, Lower Drayton Lane, College Park, Clarkes Road, Milton Park and Castle Field – will go by the end of October. In total, 12 of the council’s 25 toilets are being axed.

As previously reported, the move will help the council save £200,000.

Cllr John Ferrett, Labour group leader, said: ‘Once these toilets are demolished we are not going to get them back, and that’s a huge blow.’

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said he would hand the toilets over to businesses ‘for nothing’ if they wanted to use them as public loos.

‘If someone wants to come forward and run one of these buildings as a public toilet then they can have it,’ he said.