Car park plan will see toilets closed
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