Plea to open public toilets after human waste found at Forest beauty spot

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open public toilets
The toilets at Brookley Road car park, Brockenhurst (picture: Google)

A PLEA has been made for public toilets to be opened ahead of the bank holiday weekend after claims human excrement was found at Longslade Bottom.

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The find was revealed by members of Brockenhurst Parish Council who also reported people wild camping and having parties in second homes in the village.

Cllr Michael Croker said people had reported finding the excrement to him, with concerns that toilets staying shut will cause problems this bank holiday weekend as visitor numbers are expected to rise.

He asked parish council colleague Cllr Michael Harris – who also sits on New Forest District Council’s ruling cabinet – to lobby for public toilets, such as the village’s Brookley Road facilities, to be reopened.

Cllr Harris acknowledged Cllr Croker’s point that enabling people to wash their hands could help stop coronavirus transmission. He promised to raise the issue but noted the closure was partly due to the difficulty of social distancing.

Brockenhurst members also raised concerns about people continuing to flout social distancing rules, adding the problem could get worse over the bank holiday.

Cllr Croker had seen people wild camping and said Forestry England needed to “improve” its enforcement. Cllr John Wingham said the water close to the Balmer Lawn Hotel was “about as busy as an average summer weekend” on Tuesday.

Cllr Ros Bowles said she knew of people who had come to stay in their second homes, adding: “I know one has around six to eight people in their garden.

“I feel it’s very wrong for people who have second homes, very privileged people, to be doing this sort of thing, which is undoubtedly against the regulations.”

The toilet plea was echoed by Milford resident Bob Grasswitz who has written to NFDC calling for the conveniences to be available again.

He wrote: “With restrictions easing, and people allowed to travel to open spaces, parks and beaches, how can keeping them closed be in any way beneficial to anyone?

“I’d say it’s detrimental to health and hygiene: what are people supposed to do when ‘caught short’? Go behind a bush or in the sea?”

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