Letter: Desperate need for some consumer testing

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The Independent Online
Sir: Today's town planners take the question of public conveniences just as seriously as their colleagues did in Victorian times, but they do not have the same powers.

Lewisham's draft Borough Development Plan (UDP) contains a policy which reads:

The Council will as resources permit, seek to improve the number and distribution of public conveniences in the borough. In major developments which attract large numbers of visitors/customers such as shopping centres and leisure facilities, the council will expect developers to provide an adequate amount of accessible, good quality, well sign-posted, sanitary accommodation (especially, to meet the needs of women, children and the disabled).

Unfortunately Tesco Stores, which has been campaigning on television under the slogan 'Every little helps', with sentimental pictures of small children, has objected to the word 'expect' at the public inquiry into the plan.

The council urgently needs new planning powers in respect of internal facilities in stores. Until then, it can only 'encourage' developers and not 'expect' them to make suitable facilities available.

Yours sincerely,

IAN ARNOLD

Chair

Environmental Services

London Borough of Lewisham

London, SE6

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