Bid to list Turkish Baths by Lewes Little Gardens

Lewes Turkish Baths
Lewes Turkish Baths
  • Lewes District Council has final say on listing building as community asset
  • An answer is expected from the council on listing the Turkish Baths on April 2
  • Building in its current use is of great value to community says councillor

Lewes Little Gardens has applied to list the Turkish Baths as a community asset, cllr Ruth O’Keeffe said this week.

She asked Lewes District Council to list the service provided at the building as an asset because it was local and cheap.

The Print Room provided printing services to many local charities in the town, but the service will now be provided in Eastbourne jointly with Eastbourne Borough Council.

Cllr O’Keeffe, who represents Lewes on both district and county councils, also raised concerns about the number of buildings which the district council seemed keen to get rid of, including the St Mary’s Social Centre, the Western Road public toilets and the Turkish Baths.

Cllr O’Keeffe said: “The district council has the final say on whether the Turkish Baths are registered, on the basis of the evidence I have submitted in the application.

“I have explained that the building in its present use is of great value to the community because many local groups have their printing done there, in an easy to reach location and for a very reasonable price.”

Cllr O’Keeffe said she was becoming increasingly concerned by the number of buildings within Lewes which were valued and used by the community which have been included in proposals for disposal or redevelopment by the district council.

She said there was not enough information in the public domain about what was proposed for these sites and that she was trying to find out what was planned.

Cllr O’Keeffe said: “My personal view is decisions about the future of community centres, public toilets and other facilities much in use by the local community should be made with prior meaningful consultation with the public.”

Lewes councillor Susan Murray added: “It seems to me to be a vital part of a thriving democracy that people should be properly informed about future plans for important local facilities that are heavily used - and needed - by the local community and that they should be able to have a real say as to the future of such assets.

“That is why registering assets of community value is so important and is why Landport Youth Centre, which I chair, has registered its building.

“It is vital to the well-being of our young people that the youth centre has a guaranteed future and it is so important to know that LDC cannot just sell it away from under our noses.”

A decision will be made by the district council about listing the baths by April 2.