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Renewal of Lease for North Street Building

Council News & Services

Photo of the new public toilets in Hailsham 

Whilst Hailsham Town Council has made significant savings over the course of the past few months to ensure a minimal increase in its share of the council tax for the current financial year, a difficult decision has recently been made by town councillors, resulting in the non-renewal of the lease for the former Cortlandt stable block building in North Street.

At a meeting of Full Council held on Monday [31 July], the majority of members agreed that due to current financial restraints, it is necessary to terminate the lease on the building, which houses a public toilet facility and is currently used as the base for Hailsham FM.

The decision not to renew the lease will require Hailsham FM to relocate (new premises have already been sourced) and means that no public toilet facility will be provided by the Town Council in the town centre, until such time as a viable alternative is found.

The public toilet facility in North Street will close on 11th August.

“Hailsham Town Council acknowledges the importance of public toilet availability,” said Town Clerk John Harrison. “When Wealden District Council reviewed the provision of public toilets in the area to work within their budget reductions ten years ago resulting in the closure of the Vicarage Field toilets, the Town Council decided to lease the former Cortlandt stable block building located in North Street, using part of the building for use as public conveniences.”

“Since then, the Town Council has maintained the facility, in addition to meeting the costs of the lease of the building each year, of which residents and visitors have appreciated.”

Mr Harrison added: “Nevertheless, the Town Council has reluctantly taken the decision to terminate the lease which expires this month, resulting in the closure of the toilets there. Successive central government grant cuts, combined with increased utility and maintenance expenses for the Council, means that some non-statutory services provided by the Town Council are now unsustainable, and has forced us to review all the services/facilities we provide.”

Town Mayor Cllr Paul Holbrook commented: “The provision of public conveniences in the town centre was a strong ambition of the Town Council following the closure of the facilities provided by Wealden District Council a decade or so ago, and we are proud to have provided clean, safe and spacious public conveniences that were greatly appreciated by residents and visitors.”

“However, the provision of public toilets is a discretionary service, which means the Town Council has no statutory obligation to provide this facility. Consequently, because of financial restraints currently experienced by the Town Council and in order to ensure that our budget is spent where it is most needed, we have regrettably decided not to go ahead with the renewal of the lease for the North Street building due to associated costs.”

Despite the closure of the North Street toilet facilities, the Town Council is providing information regarding Wealden District Council’s Community Toilet Scheme, an initiative in place whereby members of the public can access toilet facilities at the following business premises (during opening hours):

  • Freedom Leisure Centre, Vicarage Lane
  • Waitrose, Vicarage Field
  • Callenders Restaurant, 80/82 High Street
  • Costa Coffee, 26B High Street

Additionally, please note that there is a disabled toilet facility in St Mary’s Walk, just off the high street.

Enquiries relating to this media release

Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: