VISITORS to Robertson Park should go to the toilet before they leave home because an unnecessary public toilet block will bring bad behaviour to the park, according to former mayor and McNamara Lane tenant Dick Niven.
Mr Niven has called for Orange City Council to scrap its plans for a $250,000 “eyesore” toilet block in Robertson Park.
Councillors agreed to put off a final decision, at Tuesday’s meeting, following complaints from Mr Niven who told the meeting not one of his fellow McNamara Lane tenants supported the proposal for a three-cubicle automatic toilet block.
The toilet block has long been touted as essential for Anzac Day and tourists.
Mr Niven said “intelligent tourists” should be able to find toilets at the Visitor Information Centre and gallery, people who need a toilet after hours should go to pubs and those who need a toilet after dark “shouldn’t be out” because they cause more trouble.
On Anzac Day most Robertson Park visitors and the elderly went back to a pub or the Ex-Services’ Club, he said.
“It might be harsh but normally you go before you leave home,” he said.
“I really think it’s overkill having three toilets.”
Mr Niven said the “modern” stainless steel toilets proposed by council would ruin Robertson Park and he believes most citizens would agree.
“It’s nonsense to have toilets all over the landscape,” he said.
“There are plenty of sporting fields that could do with this facility where there’s no facilities within cooee.”
Mr Niven said he and other McNamara Lane businesses had not been given enough time to object to the toilets. He said the owners of his law firm’s building had not been notified of the development application, despite it being advertised for public display for one month from January 4 to February 4.
“The real horror from our [law] firm is you walk out the front door and you’re practically in the toilet,” he said.
Spokesman Nick Redmond confirmed council had not written to the owners of nearby businesses because it was not required, but as the DA report had incorrectly stated they were notified the council would now write to the owners of all buildings surrounding Robertson Park.
Mr Niven said he had asked to see the DA two weeks ago but had only received it the morning of the meeting.
Despite being the main driver for the toilet since he took up the cause in 2001, Cr Glenn Taylor supported the move to defer a decision on the DA.
“I think it’s something we need but I’m happy to accommodate a former mayor and the tenants over there if we need to go back and do it properly,” he said.