Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
Members considered a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath providing an update on the suggested designs and costs associated with the redevelopment or rebuilding the Queen’s Park Public Toilets adjacent to the Children’s Play Area. The following points were made:
· The Superintendent explained cracks were identified following the original quotations to repair and decorate the toilets which resulted in seeking assistance for City Surveyors to price up plans and costs to completely redevelop.
· It was noted that point 11 required updating to better reflect the background of the damage sustained.
· Members were concerned by the new cost figure of £44k which was now five times more expensive as the original approximate project costs.
· The Chairman stated that the Committee needed to consider the two options of refurbing the building which would make it fit for service or starting again with a new build which would take much longer. The Constabulary & Queen’s Park Manager advised that the he was engaging with surveyors for both options and had met with members of the community for feedback who preferred Option 2a.
· A Member felt the building pre-dated 1980 as suggested in the report and was more likely 1960s.
· Members agreed that the cheapest option was not necessarily the best option and wanted to choose an option which would be an investment for the next 50 years. The Chairman requested that the surveyor comment on the lifespan of each option.
· A Member recommended starting again to create a building that was better fitting with the aesthetic of Queen’s Park.
· It was noted that a higher footfall was now visiting the Park with the regeneration of the South Kilburn area and the Chairman queried if there was any funding available. Members were advised that co-funding seal money was a possibility if the toilet were moved to an open side of the park offering 24-hour access becoming a changing places facility. It was noted that the deadlines to apply for seal funding were 31 December 2018 and 24 June 2019.
· It was noted that more families were now living in the area without a garden and more developments would increase this number making Queen’s Park the only Open Space available to them.
· The Superintendent advised that the costs were a realistic starting point based on analysis by architects and the exact figures would follow when the project went out to tender. These would be used as part of the capital bidding process and would be explained.
· The Committee were of the strong view that a new build was the best option and supported Option 2. However, they were concerned by the high costs and queried if solar panels could be considered over expensive green roof and doors. A Member suggested that a move to future sustainability through solar panels would be supported by the changing places project.
· The Chairman requested a timeline for funding, the architects and tendering from the surveyor to establish if seal funding was feasible in June.
· A Member did not feel that a 24-hour toilet would be a good idea as it could potentially encourage homeless people.
RESOLVED - that:-
· Members provide feedback on the Queen’s Park Public Toilet refurbishment and rebuild options 1a and 2a, and in particular in relation to the recommendation for option 1a to be value engineered;
· That the views and comments of the Queen’s Park Consultative Group be conveyed to the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee at their meeting on 28 November 2018.