Valentine's derelict public toilets set to be demolished

Valentine Lions Club’s Bruce Harris, Lake Macquarie councillor Kay Fraser, Valentine Sustainable Neighbourhood Group’s Mel Llewelyn Kay Fraser and Valentine Residents Association’s Janine McCallum at the toilet block behind Valentine Progress Association Hall.

Valentine Lions Club’s Bruce Harris, Lake Macquarie councillor Kay Fraser, Valentine Sustainable Neighbourhood Group’s Mel Llewelyn Kay Fraser and Valentine Residents Association’s Janine McCallum at the toilet block behind Valentine Progress Association Hall.

PEPPERED with graffiti, poorly lit and left in a derelict state, Valentine's public toilets could be mistaken for the set of a movie.

The toilets sit behind the privately owned Valentine Progress Association Hall in Allambee Place and are the only ones in sight for 550 metres.

Until now, Lake Macquarie council has refused to build new toilets in the adjacent park, instead using council resources to clean the amenities behind the hall for more than decade.

The need for new toilets was first highlighted by the then-mayor John Kilpatrick in 2002.

The issue was raised again by councillor Kay Fraser in 2004 and a number of times after that.

Cr Fraser has worked with local groups, including the Lions club, residents' association and sustainable neighbourhood group for the issue to be addressed.

But it was not until the hall's owners decided to develop the site that the council was forced to act.

In April, the owners lodged a development application to extend the hall.

They want to demolish the existing toilets and build new ones inside the hall, with internal access only.

The toilets would be private property and unavailable to the public.

Cr Fraser said the number of community events held in Allambee Park, opposite the hall, was the catalyst for the council's decision to build new amenities.

The council is undertaking design work on the new toilets, which will be built in the park.

Construction is scheduled to start in the next financial year, with $9000 allocated to the project in the council's 2014-15 budget.

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