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Oct 10 2013

Public Toilets Getting Flogged Off in Harrow

toilet_signIt seems that Harrow Council is looking to sell off two of the borough’s public toilets, if Council cabinet papers published tonight are to be believed (report here, OS plans here).

4) Public Lavatories Whitchurch Lane Edgware HA8 6LP

Single-storey detached public conveniences built in the 1950s on a site of approximately 0.0255ha (0.06 acres) adjacent to a modern block of flats and non-operational for several years.

Options Considered

Option 1 – Retain the building. There is no identified alternative Council use for this property. This property is not considered suitable for retention as an investment.

Option 2 – Sell the Council’s freehold interest. This would realise a capital receipt and revenue savings as well as reducing backlog maintenance. Subject to planning, the property would be suitable for residential redevelopment.

Recommendation

Option 2 is recommended as the property is surplus to the Council’s requirements and will generate a capital receipt and revenue savings and contribute to the MTFS.

12) Public Lavatories Greenhill Way

Single storey detached Public Convenience built in 1984 having a gross internal are of approximately 720 ft2 on a site of approximately 0.11 acres. Immediately adjacent (to the west) of the site and unaffected by the proposal to dispose are improvements being carried out by the Town Centre Regeneration Project involving the provision of additional car parking bays.

Options Considered

Option 1 – Retain the building. There is no identified alternative Council use for this property. This property is not considered suitable for retention as an investment.

Option 2 – Sell the Council’s freehold interest. This would realise a capital receipt and revenue savings as well as reducing backlog maintenance. Subject to planning, the property would be suitable for commercial and/or residential redevelopment.

Recommendation

Option 2 is recommended as the property is surplus to the Council’s requirements and will generate a capital receipt and revenue savings and contribute to the MTFS.

It’s unclear if these toilets are still currently open for use.

It was only a few months ago when the Council announced it was to close the public toilets in Northolt Road, South Harrow, suggesting that residents in need of a convenience break visit the nearby Roxeth Library instead.

It might have been said that Harrow Council takes the piss out of it’s residents. No longer, it seems, will that be the case.

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10 comments

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  1. Cllr. Paul Osborn

    The “Public Lavatories” in Whitchurch Lane, Edgware have been closed for over fifteen years and are attracting anti-social behaviour including drug use and under-age drinking.

    The “Public Lavatories” in Greenhill Way have been closed for over a year and reoccurring maintenance issues with these toilets has meant that they have spent much of the last decade closed while repairs are made.

    Hope this helps…..

    1. Harrow Dude

      Paul, Whitchurch Lane attracts the asb because they have been closed for over fifteen years and left unused, perhaps if they had been maintained this asb wouldn’t be happening. As for Greenhill Way, the need for public lavatories in central Harrow is obvious, again if they had been maintained and repaired correctly ten years ago they would be useable now. Selling the family jewels has never made sense and is a shortsighted kneejerk reaction by those seeking a quick fix. Where is the long term plan?

      1. Cllr. Paul Osborn

        Clearly, if different decisions had been made 10-15 years ago we’d be a different position now.

        As for your second point, I am not convinced it is sensible or productive for the Council to hold onto surplus properties, with the associated maintenance costs.

        1. Harrow Dude

          Whitchurch Lane is closed Greenhill Way is closed so there are no associated maintenance cost that I can see. Harrow Council have been happy to hold on these assets for 10-15 years as they are, why sell now? property usually ends up increasing in value. Land will always increase in value as they aren’t making any more of it. Is this the beginning of the great sell-off to finance Susie’s promised investment in front-line services or is there a plan B

          1. Cllr. Paul Osborn

            You still have to maintain the property, if you own it.

            As the report says “There are assumed capital receipts of £12M for 2013/14 and £10M for 2014/15 from the disposal programme as part of the capital MTFS, to finance expenditure in the Council’s capital programme. The proposed disposal of the properties detailed in this report will generate significant capital receipts to the Council in 2013/14 and 2014/15”. This was the budget and MTFS passed by Labour and supported and carried on by the ILG.

  2. Praxis Reform

    Perhaps there will be a floatation… Harrow residents can all spend a penny investing in the next cheap as chips Tory sell-off, just like today’s Royal Mail privatization.

    Then, in a couple of weeks, we can see the value whizz up as Developers clamour to erect the next bizarre shaped block of flats, in order to meet Boris’ “let’s cram as much of London’s overflow population into an outer borough, but not worry about whether there might be jobs waiting for them there” scheme.

  3. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    I could never understand why licensing extension applicants couldn’t have a condition attached to their application that they fund public toilets out of the extra profit being gleaned from being open longer. After all, it’s their booze that gets peed out at the end of the day – er – or should that be end of the night?

  4. King David

    Tories selling off surplus buildings. No change there whether Tory or Labour.

  5. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Vote ILG then!

  6. Praxis Reform

    Pubs seem to be being overlooked far too much recently, and it seems that all flavours of council we’ve had recently would rather sit and watch them rot than encourage someone to keep them open.

    Who here hasn’t nipped into a pub when they’ve been caught short? Then there’s the fact that some offered a few extra car parking spaces for anyone nipping into town and were a welcome change from the identical shops you see on every high street, others the possibility to relax in the beer garden with a drink or grab a quick bite to eat. If you needed to get a few friends together to discus a plan, where better than the local pub? Not to mention that the Landlord can keep an eye on things and make sure people don’t get too drunk.

    But, now all these social benefits are replaced with expensive paid car parks (or a big fine for minor infractions), take away chicken shack food that ends up making public transport smell, or polystyrene containers dumped in the street, and then the Politicians wonder why there’s so many drunk youths wandering the streets vomiting all over the place and making a nuisance of themselves…

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