Petition plea to save Lewes loos


The campaign to save public lavatories in Lewes is gathering momentum.

There’s now a petition calling on Lewes District Council to re-open and maintain the facilities in Western Road.

It says: “They are a much-appreciated and needed public facility, used by both local residents and visitors to the town.

“They are an asset both to local Council Tax payers and to tourists who contribute to the economic well-being of the town.”

The campaign comes amid fears that the loos will be demolished and replaced by affordable housing.

They have been closed since January because they are in a bad state of repair, though the disabled facility has been re-opened for use by everyone.

Jackie Bishop, of nearby St Anne’s Church, said the closure of the Western Road conveniences was causing distress to both the congregation and visitors to the historic church. She has urged the district council to look not only at this site but the other two public conveniences in the town.

She asked: “Do they reflect and satisfy the expectations and basic needs of the thousands of visitors every year to the county town?

“With an ageing and increasing population we must retain, restore and maintain these vital services.”

Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe said she was in the process of making an application for the loos to be listed as a Community Asset under the provisions of the localism bill.

She said the petition, available for signatures at a number of local outlets, would be presented to the district council on Thursday, July 17.

Cllr Stephen Catlin said the facilities date from the 1930s and Lewes’ heyday as a racecourse town.

“They are much used and particularly serve those hikers from the South Downs who come in to the town from the east,” he said.

He has contacted the South Downs National Park Authority asking if it has a policy for the provision of such facilities within the national park.

“If we are to encourage people to come to visit, it surely is important that we have facilities to provide for them,” said Cllr Catlin.