Seaton ‘let down horribly’ by EDDC

Campaign launched to save public toilets

Tesco cannot be held responsible for the failings of EDDC. Seaton has been let down horribly by the district council. Since the publicaton of the Tesco plans for “Public Realm” which will connect the new store to The Underfleet, I have been doing some research.

Firstly, we had a most interesting talk by Emma Webster, the Green Issues spokesperson for Tesco, who came to our development which overlooks the site. In answer to a question concerning the demolition of our public toilets, she told us that EDDC had asked them to do so as part of the Section 106 agreement. I was so flabbergasted that I asked for confirmation and got it. Asked what the arrangements were for their replacement, the store will have toilets (three for ladies and two cublicles and urinals for the men), also some at the visitor centre. She was also asked why Tesco was not replacing buildings, such as the swimming pool and youth centre, which they needed to demolish. The answer was that, during the negotiations, they weren’t asked!

My second line of research consisted of speaking to a few drivers of the many coaches which come to Seaton each day - to get their reactions to the closure of our public toilets. Every one answered that the coaches would not come to Seaton. Where does that leave our tramway, or even the proposed visitor centre?

Thirdly, I went to look at the toilets concerned. Our Lodge Manager kindly investigated the ‘Gents’ and I looked at the ‘Ladies’. There are four cubicles and a long urinal for the men and seven cubicles in the ladies, plus a bench for nappy changing. I also checked (with my Radar key) the easy access disabled loo which is beautifully tiled throughout. Bearing in mind the fact that the plumbing is all there and these toilets are constantly used by residents and visitors alike, it is crazy to demolish them.

We were told these toilets are due for demolition in September. The store is expected to open at Christmas. Asked about interim arrangements, we were told that they would speak to nearby pubs to arrange for them to open their toilets to the public.

I have been led to understand that Tesco went to the negotiations with EDDC with a list of what they were likely to be asked for. You can’t blame them for not offering to replace our buildings.

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Compared with other locations they got off very lightly, and they know it. However, that does not mean that we allow our toilets to be demolished. Please lobby EDDC and whoever you can to get this plan stopped or our town really will be dead.

Mrs B A Dearden-Potter

12 Jubilee Lodge

The Underfleet