Car park plan will see toi­lets closed

Macclesfield Express - - WHAT’S ON - STU­ART GREER

PLANS have been sub­mit­ted to tear down a vil­lage’s pub­lic toi­lets and build a car park.

The scheme has seen res­i­dents at log­ger­heads for the past 18 months.

Prest­bury Par­ish Coun­cil, which owns the loos, said the free pub­lic con­ve­niences at Bridge Lane were too ex­pen­sive to run.

Busi­ness lead­ers ar­gue a car park is crit­i­cal to the sur­vival of the vil­lage.

But Heidi Al­toun­yan, a lol­lipop lady in Prest­bury, cam­paigned to keep the toi­let open for chil­dren and the el­derly.

Now plans have been put for­ward for a car park for 22 ve­hi­cles with new land­scap­ing and plant­ing.

It is in­tended that the car park will op­er­ate on a short stay ba­sis be­tween 7am and 7pm.

Carol Hamil­ton, chair­man of Prest­bury Busi- ness Fo­rum, said run­ning the toi­lets costs the coun­cil £15,000, ‘usurp­ing funds from many de­sir­able com­mu­nity projects’.

He said: “No ac­tion or rec­om­men­da­tion of the Par­ish Coun­cil has ever been so de­bated and sub­jected to such pub­lic polling and scru­tiny as this is­sue and yet re­ceived such strong, wide­spread and doc­u­mented sup­port.

“Al­though it is in­dis­putable what the opin­ions are of the ma­jor­ity of the res­i­dents, there is nev­er­the­less a small mi­nor­ity of res­i­dents that are very vo­cif­er­ous in want­ing to re­tain the pub­lic toi­lets.”

Mr Hamil­ton said six vil­lage es­tab­lish­ments agreed to open their toi­lets for pub­lic use to fill the void.

He added: “What we owe to the next gen­er­a­tion is not a vil­lage pre­served like a mu­seum piece, but a vi­brant, evolv­ing, rel­e­vant Prest­bury ap­pro­pri­ate to the day, but in­ter­wo­ven with its beau­ti­ful his­toric her­itage. A well land­scaped car park in the cen­tre of the vil­lage is em­bod­ied in, and is a crit­i­cal as­pect of, such a strat­egy of sur­vival for the com­mer­cial life of the vil­lage.”

A pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion and vote saw over­whelm­ing sup­port for the car park. The pro­posed scheme has sup­port from lo­cal busi­nesses.

In com­ments made on Cheshire East Coun­cil’s plan­ning por­tal, Blair Glen, from The Coast restau­rant, said: “What we need to be do­ing now is to make it con­ve­nient and en­joy­able to do so, not a stress­ful ex­pe­ri­ence which has been pointed out to us on many oc­ca­sions be­cause they couldn’t find suf­fi­cient park­ing.”

The plans are due to be de­cided by plan­ning of­fi­cers next month.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the pro­posed car park in Prest­bury and the toi­lets which will be bull­dozed as part of the scheme

Helpers keep the strawberry teas flow­ing at Bar­bara Hines’ home in Lower Withing­ton

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