New promenade public toilets planned for Bognor Regis are in the wrong place and will be a ‘complete disaster’, one Lib Dem councillor has warned.
Arun District Council’s application for an above-ground replacement for the dated underground facilities was deferred by its own development control committee in September after issues ranging from design to privacy were raised.
The council’s Bognor Regis regeneration sub-committee was told late last month a change had been made ahead of the plans being reconsidered.
The revision will see the toilet doors open facing the seafront instead of overlooking the road following privacy objections from Esplanade Grande residents.
But Francis Oppler (LDem, Orchard) said: “I think it’s a totally inappropriate place to put a block of toilets.
“The ward members were not consulted on proposals to rotate the toilet block around which I think is going to be a complete disaster as it’s right on the seafront and winds are going to blow the doors in.”
He suggested the mounds next to the town hall on the Regis site would be a better location at a Full Council meeting on Wednesday (November 8).
He added: “What I would say is let’s get it right for the visitors and let’s get it right for all our residents.”
But Phil Hitchins (Con, Aldwick West), who chairs the sub-committee, said: “We have decided that the positioning of them is acceptable and the reason for that is the layout of the sewage pipes needed to connect it to something.
“We can’t just move it down the road and spend millions and millions digging everything up to put in more sewage pipes. That is totally ridiculous.”
He told councillors that if the toilets were built at the Regis Centre, where they are planning for a new theatre and winter gardens, it would jeopardise regeneration of the area.
Trevor Bence (Con, Aldwick East), cabinet member for residential services, described how residents were ‘reasonably content’ with proposals.
He added: “All the concerns have been listened to and extensive changes have been made.”