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Demolition of public toilets ‘imminent’ despite petition to save them

Temporary toilets will become available

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Work will begin imminently on the removal the existing toilet block in March town centre to allow further progress on the multi-million redevelopment of the riverside and Broad Street. It comes after March Society attracted nearly 500 signatures on petitions to preserve them.

The society had claimed the toilet block had stood as a landmark in a prominent position in the conservation area in the centre of town near Town Bridge for nearly a century “and is in an ideal situation as convenient for everyone: visitors, residents, the disabled, families and older people.

“Moving them would cause problems for people as these are the only public toilets in town and would mean a long walk to another site in town.

“The block is in full view of the town whereas toilets in City Road Car Park have been removed because of vandalism.

“We hope that you will realise how strongly March people feel about this and would not like to lose this toilet block on this site but would like it to be adapted to modern standards especially for those with severe disabilities”.

However Fenland District Council says the toilet block is being removed and replaced  as part of the overall plan to enhance and open-up the riverbank, creating a new town feature and attracting footfall to the town.

The existing toilet block will close from TODAY Wednesday, 13 December, when temporary toilets will become available.

These are located in the car park of the old Barclays building, which neighbours the site of the existing toilets.

The existing toilet block will close from this Wednesday, 13 December

The existing toilet block will close from this Wednesday, 13 December

The temporary toilets will remain in position until the new units are built along the western edge of Grays Lane and the riverbank.

Plans for the new toilet block are being finalised and will be put before Fenland District Council’s planning committee for consideration early in the New Year. The design intends to retain some of the characterful original features of the current toilet block.

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No gap in provision says Cabinet member 

Cllr Chris Seaton, lead member of the March Future High Streets steering group, said: “We know how important it is to people using the town centre to have access to suitable facilities and that’s why we’re committed to ensuring there won’t be a gap in provision.

“We’re doing everything possible to work with partners on this joint town centre project to minimise what we know to be uncomfortable disruption to the town centre.

“In the long term the transformation will be a massive future-proofing boost for March. Our message to all our traders and residents is to please continue to bear with us as we work hard to make that transformation happen.”

Public loos in March top right - now to be demolished as part of wider regeneration scheme

March Town Centre, Sunday 08 October 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Enhancement of the riverside is part of the £8.4million March Future High Streets Fund projects being delivered with funding from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund (£6.4million) and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (£2million).

The projects, which include the now complete regeneration of March Market Place, will complement Cambridgeshire County Council’s project to change the road layout in Broad Street.

The council intends to provide a new “fit-for-purpose toilet facility” at the western end of Grays Lane.

This new facility will include two accessible toilets and a new state-of-the-art Changing Places toilet.

The Changing Places facility, which will be made possible thanks to funding from the Government’s Changing Places Fund, will provide a safe environment for people with severe disabilities who need specialised facilities when they are out and about.

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