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Public toilets needed for King's Square now Golden Egg is gone

By citizenmike  |  Posted: February 21, 2014

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Flashback to September 2012: Stanhope director Martyn Chase and Gloucester City Council leader Paul James sign an agreement for King's Quarter redevelopment

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NEVER mind designer shops for King’s Square, people want to see the return of public toilets to the city.

Attentions are turning to the future of the square now that the Golden Egg building has been demolished.

But it is to the past that people were looking, when asked by the Citizen yesterday about what they wanted to see at a future King’s Square.

The return of public toilets – and even the fountains – were high on the agenda.

Several of those asked were vocal about the need for proper toilets in King’s Square, harking back to the halcyon days before the square’s redevelopment in the 1970s, when the old public toilets were clean, functional and would have Christmas decorations perched on top of them each year.

Christopher Tunely, 67, said: “Now that old concrete lump is gone it would be great to see some proper toilets in King’s Square.

"There’s nothing else around here – the nearest facilities are in the pub on the other side of the square.”

Andrew Green, 60, said: “It’s fantastic to see the egg come down. I don’t come into this part of the town all that often, but it makes a massive difference. I think it would great to have a focal point here, maybe a leisure centre? Something for younger kids.”

Heather Powe, 55, who works at a stall on King’s Square said: “We really do need toilets in the square. At the moment, we have to use the toilets in the bus station or the pub, which they don’t really like. We could also do with some seated areas where people can sit.”

Alan Piggott, 60, also thinks that the city needs more public toilets. He said: “It would be great to provide more facilities for visitors. I work at the Waterways museum, and there are always people popping in to use the loos. Perhaps some kind of visitor centre or something?”

King’s Square was redeveloped in the 1970s as part of the Jellicoe plan, which included the installation of concrete fountains. These were finally removed in 2001.

Market traders who run stalls at King’s Square have to trek to Gloucester Bus Station to use the toilets there.

But developers Stanhope plc, who have been tasked with making the King’s Quarter regeneration plans a reality, have very different ideas for the square.

The square would be built on with a range of new designer shops and a new square would be created beyond Subway where the road in front of Tesco now lies.

Vast swathes of buildings in that area would be demolished and, beyond that, the dilapidated bus station would make way for a new transport hub incorporating buses, taxis and cycling.

The scheme would be built and up and running by late 2017 – but Stanhope have not submitted any planning application to date.

In the first sign of activity, archaeological digs will begin in April on the square.

Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “We are very keen that the archaeological dig is an event itself.

“We would like to use an empty shop in the King’s Walk shopping centre to showcase what is going on.”

But there are no plans for the return of the fountains just yet – the area where the Golden Egg once stood will instead be levelled out and re-paved.

General paint work and maintenance of the square will then follow to improve its appearance.

Months of silence from Stanhope were ended in January when director Martyn Chase spoke out at a planning committee meeting of the city council in a bid to thwart plans for a Home Bargains store at the Peel Centre, submitted by rival developers Peel Outlets.

At the meeting he said: “If you want a successful city centre you have to make a stand. You cannot have investment in your city and out of town at the same time. It simply will not happen.”

It is expected that Peel will appeal the council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the change of use of two empty units at the Peel Centre to bring in Home Bargains.

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11 comments

  • jackson99  |  February 23 2014, 3:44PM

    Gloucester Council dont listen to the residents, just to what developers want.

    |   1
  • emseaell  |  February 23 2014, 8:03AM

    honslknjklyt Any place that sell food to eat in must have customer (yes customer) toilets. Pee then buy a coffee or coke

  • lewisfisher92  |  February 23 2014, 2:06AM

    Why spend all that money on nice new toilet facilities when in 12 months time vandals and drunks would have recked them back to the condition of the old ones thus making them unused and abandoned again? This space would make a nice park area, adding a greenery into the concrete invested centre! Or... (This does sound adventurous) this would make a great space for a small station area for a tram link from the city centre to the docks/quays. The council is always trying to find ways of getting people from the centre to the quays and vice versa. Could even link it to the train station!! (4getful - A CINEMA?? Really? Why build a cinema there when a: there's not enough space and b: cineworld have just opened a new multi million pound cinema just down the road!!!)

  • honslknjklyt  |  February 22 2014, 9:15PM

    Me and my family were in Stroud today and one of us got desperate for the toilet. Couldn't find anywhere and this is another good thing about big supermarkets and places like Mcdonalds there nearly always are toilets. We went to the train station and thought great, there will be toilets there but nothing. Yes, there were toilets but under lock and key. It was only about 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. There is certainly a need for public toilets but councils have become very reliant on businesses paying for it. I would have been happy to put 10 or 20p in a lock device to open the door. For some who are in pain the inconvenience can be terrible let alone embarrassing if the eventuality is unkind.

    |   1
  • Apothegm_  |  February 22 2014, 10:02AM

    "The council doesn't listen to residents!" Nor to reason...

    |   4
  • SandraPee  |  February 22 2014, 9:14AM

    Am puzzled as to why the loss of the Golden Egg should be the reason we need public toilets ? We've always needed public toilets there, yet the council closed them all and even knocked the purpose built disabled toilet block down citing vandals and misuse as the reasons rather than actually doing something about the vandals and misusers ! The council doesn't listen to residents !

    |   6
  • Mudbox  |  February 22 2014, 7:02AM

    well, you can't make much money by providing people with a place to go to the toilet. People can leave their bladders at home, and just bring their wallets....can't they.

    |   2
  • jas37  |  February 21 2014, 9:46PM

    Stanhope's development is extremely important to the City Centre as a whole. Without major investment/development in the King's Quarter area the City Centre will struggle to attract major retailers and will remain dependant on the Quays to attract new shoppers and retailers into Gloucester. Until the King's Quarter development takes place the City will continue to leak people and money to Cheltenham and Cribbs Causeway etc. I would certainly hope that Public toilets will be included in the development.

    |   7
  • jas37  |  February 21 2014, 9:03PM

    Jacko2013, It's blatantly obvious you are far more interested in pedalling your Political propaganda than making any genuine comments on the future of the City centre. What an embarrassment !

    |   -4
  • meymey  |  February 21 2014, 7:39PM

    um e already have public toilets in the square underground but our council in there wisdom (penny pinching) found any excuse to close them around 20 years ago now i would think,

    |   2

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