Update on Lion Green Toilets



Given the level of interest in the installation of public toilets on Lion Green, Haslemere Town council will now be issuing a weekly progress update until the project is finished.


The project was initiated by the Council to fill a need identified by many residents, and there seems to be broad agreement that, when completed, these will enhance the experience for users of Lion Green.
We have however, understandably, had a number of questions raised about the project, which we attempt to answer below.


Why is the block located where it is? We looked for something convenient to users of the green without compromising the use of the existing facilities provided by the Council on the east side of the green. The west side is reserved for the many events that take place. It needed to be near existing water and drainage connections or the cost to taxpayers would have been much greater and even more disruptive. In addition to this we had to take into account existing tree roots so as to cause no damage, and preservation of the sightlines around the Marks & Spencer junction. The planners and all consultees accepted the location of the toilets and planning consent was granted on that basis.


What about children walking to them from the park, isn’t this dangerous? Well, at the moment tif they’re not using the stream or a bush they need to be taken to Tesco, across a main road! Parents are capable of judging whether their children are old enough to go to the toilets on their own or need supervision.


Why is the block such an eyesore?! Please wait until the project is completed before passing judgement! Obviously the ground around it will be landscaped, and the area to and around the block will be nicely paved  to aid access. The details of this are to be agreed but we have a number of local residents who have put forward some interesting ideas. There seems to be some objection to the brown wood colour of the unit itself, this can easily be changed if considered necessary, but is consistent with the planning permission granted.  A building of traditional construction would have been massively more expensive for the taxpayer than the pre-constructed building and, in choosing the supplier, the carbon footprint of the offering was taken into account, this being in line with the Council’s declaration of a climate emergency. Conscious of keeping the cost to residents to a minimum, the majority of the project will be funded from CiL money, with some Council reserves also being used. This negated the need for the Council to take out a Public Works Loan Board loan.


Why is the project taking so long?! The Council has been really unfortunate that the contractor has not been able to complete the work to agreed timescales, although some work was completed last week and building control have finally been able to sign off the foundations. Residents should be in no doubt that the Council has been as frustrated as they have been by this, and a lot of hard work has gone on in the background to get the contractors back on site to complete the job. We are hugely grateful for the patience that most residents have shown and we can only reiterate that this project was instigated with the best intention; to provide a much needed facility to users of Lion Green.


We are now waiting for installation of the electrics by SSE and permission to connect to the foul water drain. These are beyond our control and may yet take a few weeks.


We will update weekly as to progress. Any questions should be directed to the Town Clerk, Lisa O’Sullivan at office@haslemeretc.org