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Proposal for toilet at church raises concerns

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: December 18, 2013

The proposed toilet location is between the two extensions. The window in question can be partially seen to the left of the smaller extension.

The proposed toilet location is between the two extensions. The window in question can be partially seen to the left of the smaller extension.

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CONCERNS have been raised over a proposed new toilet at Egloshayle Church, which encloses a stained-glass window and blocks its access to natural light.

Plans have been in place for many years to build a toilet on the site and the designs have been carefully considered. Wadebridge Town councillors said they will support the planning application but only if the planned location of the toilet is changed.

The stained-glass window, a Second World War memorial, would be partially blocked by the toilet, preventing it from being seen from the outside and reducing its access to light.

The proposed location of the toilet is between the two existing extensions on the north side of the church, with access to be gained via the kitchen.

Churchwarden Mike Todd said the plans have been carefully considered and the final design is the most suitable one for the church.

"Of course we are all concerned, all our heritage people and church people, about blocking the window," he said.

"During the design process, finding a suitable solution has actually taken up the most time – this has been going on eight or nine years, looking at options and finding one acceptable to everybody."

Mr Todd said the main issue isn't the visual blocking of the window from the outside but the decreased access to light, to which a solution has been found.

"With the trees and the two extensions coming out of the wall you can't see the window terribly well from the outside; the concern is more inside and being able to read the window with the use of natural light. Artificial illumination in the form of uplighters within the toilet will backlight the glass window in the evenings and actually make it more visible from the inside than it is at the moment."

Both English Heritage and the Archdeacon raised their concerns over the enclosing of the window. The other option of locating the toilet in the boiler room was discussed but is not seen as viable and both parties were satisfied with the artificial illumination and rooflight plans.

Mr Todd said it is difficult to meet modern expectations while also preserving history.

"The toilet is an absolute must, when groups of schoolchildren come it's a particular problem, and the church has other uses like concerts and people ask us why we don't have a toilet."

Wadebridge town councillor Harriet Wild said she was concerned about the toilet blocking what she considers "a work of art".

"The blocking of the window is a concern to me. Personally I would support the application but not with the toilet in the position that the plans currently propose. I think a stained-glass window is a valuable work of art."

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