RESIDENTS are starting a campaign to save the public toilets at Runswick Bay after discovering they are being sold off.
They heard inadvertently that a builder was looking at a project to convert the toilet block into part of the adjoining house.
But they claim there are no definite plans for a replacement and if there was it would likely be on the public car park which has recently just had £3 million worth of improvement works.
A petition is being started up and Hinderwell Parish Council is also discussing the possible conversion which they are also opposed to.
Dennis Whiteley, chairman of the Runswick Bay Association, said the go-ahead had been given for the disposal without public consultation.
He told the Gazette: “The officer has given the go-ahead to dispose of them but as yet there are no plans about how and whether they are going to replace them.
“This is not normal process they should be following. Other people in the village would be interested in buying or putting a consortium together and stopping the council selling them off.
“There are all sorts of things but we have not been given the opportunity.”
Mr Whiteley added the loss of the toilets would impact on public enjoyment of the facilities at Runswick Bay.
He said: “As far as this guy is concerned it makes a lot of business sense because it remains a blot on his house and makes for a large extension with a sea view.
“It makes business sense for the council, is it a fund-raising exercise?
“But they are just brilliant for the kids. All the local kids play just below the cafe where they can get ice-cream - the sand is beautiful and clean, the toilets are 20 yards away and people can keep an eye on the little children.
“But the replacement they are proposing , if they do, will be totally out of sight and across a busy launching road – it would be nothing like the level of facility that we have got now.”
A spokeswoman for Scarborough Borough Council said the toilets are being sold under a ‘special purchaser’ provision and had been to the authority’s Cabinet in 2009.
They added that ward and parish councillors had been consulted at the time and the provision of new toilets on the outskirts of Runswick Bay were part of the proposal pending planning permission from the North York Moors National Park Authority.