Farmer calls for public toilets at Winchelsea after people ‘urinate and defecate’ in his fields

A farmer has called for public toilets to be installed after members of the public urinated and defecated at his gateways and in his field due to the lack of facilities.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 11:22 am

Frank Langrish said he and his family have farmed the land between Winchelsea Beach and Pett Level for more than 80 years.

In that time, he said the permanent and recreational population at Winchelsea has ‘increased hugely’, yet the facilities provided have ‘declined to the point where there are no public toilets or any provided by the limited retail outlets’.

He added: “Fortunately of late, the weather has not encouraged large numbers of people to come to the seaside as there were in May and June.

Frank Langrish pictured in Pett Level. SUS-210825-102310001

“During these peak periods there have been significant issues with people being forced to urinate and defecate in our gateways and in the fields and sheep pens as well as in the small entrance road at Smugglers End opposite the Winchelsea Beach Café.

“Even though numbers of people have been less recently this still occurs and part of the issue is that the café does not permit anyone to use their toilets.

“This is a serious human and animal health issue where people are using our fields as toilets but now have nowhere else to go or on the beach itself. The toilets at Dogs Hill have been closed for well over a year. The nearest public toilets are Winchelsea, which are also closed now or the small ones at Pett Level which are open but poorly signed.”

Mr Langrish said the lack of facilities in a busy tourist area such as Winchelsea Beach is a ‘disgrace’. He has complained to Icklesham Parish Council and East Sussex County Council, but said nothing has been done to remedy the situation.

In response to his comments, a Rother District Council spokesman said: “We appreciate Mr Langrish’s concerns and agree that the behaviour he describes is totally unacceptable.

“There are Portaloo facilities at Winchelsea Beach which are in place and available for visitors to use between April and September. The Portaloos are cleaned regularly and we would encourage anyone visiting the area to make use of them.”

Mr Langrish said authorities here should learn from Walberswick, a small seaside village in Suffolk, which he said had well-maintained toilets that encouraged people to come to the area.

“Surely happy and comfortable visitors are more likely to spend money in the local community,” he said.

“This situation cannot continue and surely temporary facilities could be installed at Dogs Hill as the infrastructure is already there.”