Council 'knows the cause of Wadebridge loo pong'
BUSINESSES in Wadebridge have hit out at what they believe is Cornwall Council's lackadaisical approach to dealing with a smelly public toilet.
Two prominent businesses in the town say the smell emanating from the Eddystone Road public toilet is making staff feel sick – and has even been dubbed the 'Camel Trail pong', given its close proximity to the start of the walk.
Geoff Brown, from Bridge Tyre House, and Matt Poley, from Bridge Bike Hire, hit out at Cornwall Council's response last week. The authority claimed it had not received any complaints or been contacted by anyone regarding the smell.
Both businessmen said urgent action needs to be taken to alleviate the "horrible" smell, which they think was caused by the construction of the £300,000 facility in the first place.
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Before it closed in the early Nineties, Wadebridge and District Abattoir used to be situated on the site of the current Wadebridge fire station next to Lidl's supermarket, just 300ft from the toilets.
Mr Brown said a foul drain ran underground from the abattoir to the Camel River, and the building of the toilets has upset the drainage system directly underneath.
"When the toilets were built they pushed 15 metre-long concrete piles into the ground before they could put up the foundations of the block," Mr Brown said.
"I'm no expert, but if you plough something like that into the ground, it's going to upset what is underneath."
Cornwall Council said this week that it has "inspected the site and the smell is not coming from the toilet building, but a nearby drainage ditch".
Mr Brown said this statement was stating the obvious without providing a solution.
"The smell isn't coming from the toilets themselves, we know that, it's coming from a stagnant ditch of water underneath and adjacent to the toilets," he said. "The council knows that because in autumn of 2011 we did a month-long survey for Environmental Health after I made a verbal complaint to the council about the smell."
Council environmental officers couldn't find the cause of the smell, he said.
Mr Poley also feels the council should do something.
"The smell is hideous, it's affecting everybody around here and the council is fully aware of what the exact problem is," he said.
Mr Brown believes the council is reluctant to accept that the facility, which opened in 2010, should never have been built on that patch of land due to the drainage system underneath.
"Whoever did the original survey before the building was put up didn't do it very well because they should have known the history of the site," he said.