Councillor refuses to take slating of loos sitting down

YOU report (Thursday, March 13) that an ex-parish council chairman is "flushed with anger" because his successors are not carrying out his plans to demolish and redevelop the existing shelter and toilets building in Steyning High Street.

Tuesday, 18th March 2008, 2:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:44 pm

You report that he (quoting an opinion from 1974) regards the building as hideous, jarring among so much beauty, and "just about as utility as anything could be".

The photograph in your report shows a substantial building well proportioned and with a roof profile which sits well to its ground storey.

The ground-storey shelter is spacious and equally well proportioned to the brickwork toilet enclosures at either end.

The white-coloured outline and straight columns frame the shelter, avoiding the pseudo-classicism of too many "public buildings"" and giving it a special character.

The materials of the building are of good quality and suited to its position.

Its position and siting in the street scene are such that, viewed from the east, its height and roof shape allow the east end of the 16th-century Moore's Chemist to be seen without any jarring juxtaposition.

Viewed full face, the building shields the street from the car park behind it.

As a utility, it is wrong to think of it as a toilet building only '“ its shelter is vital to the High Street.

With its bus stop bay in front, the building, with toilets included, is an invaluable, sheltered waiting space, rendezvous and pick-up spot for locals, shoppers and visitors in Steyning.

Our flushed ex-chairman's schemes for redevelopment were several, as the inadequacies of each had to be rethought.

The main idea was for a commercial redevelopment which would be self-financing. This initial scheme provided a "shelter" equivalent to a standard bus stop.

With no commercial interest coming forward, the scheme eventually came down to a toilet building and some sort of glass shelter, separated by some sort of landscaping, to provide some sort of screening for the car park from the High Street and with funding unclear.

His successors, having had a proper survey of the existing building done, have provided a scheme which maintains an important component of the street, with its shelter, and provides toilet facilities of which I have seen the equivalent in Painswick, Somerset, and the Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Martin Toomey

Steyning parish councillor

Jarvis Lane

Steyning