Skip to main content

To: The People of Clapton and Homerton



Hackney Council officers have refused to renew our lease after 8th February when we have spent over £40,000 renovating and opening the Brooksby’s Walk public toilets for the last 5 years.

Why is this important?

Council bullies in solar loo grab!

Local residents face a David and Goliath battle with Hackney Council to retain ownership of the community restored Brooksby’s Walk public convenience. The Council plan to terminate the community’s lease on 8th February.

Residents re-opened the toilets serving Chatsworth Road, left closed by the Council for 30 years. After a long campaign and formation of the Clapton Improvement Society, they were granted a 5year lease in 2013, with the promise of a 100year peppercorn lease to follow.

The Society raised funds from the Lottery and loans from members to renovate the toilets and convert the gents to a café/restaurant to pay for their maintenance. The current operator is David Bez’s Pride Kitchen, a vegetarian café.

Altogether more than £40,000 has been invested. Clapton has Britain’s only luxury sustainable solar powered free public toilets as a result.
But from the beginning, the Council has made life difficult for the volunteers. Officials raised a series of petty complaints about the works done by local contractors. Building inspectors demanded an expensive sprinkler system and then didn’t issue the certificate after completion of the works. A local councillor raised unverified complaints about the café and persuaded the licensing committee to refuse an extension of hours, which had been granted planning permission after an appeal to the independent planning inspectorate.

Now the Council’s estates department is seeking to terminate the community’s ownership on wholly spurious grounds (including not having the building completion certificate) without any plans to keep the toilets open.

“It’s an outrage!” says Society secretary Mary Doyle. “ As someone who is wheelchair fast, this is the only local toilet I can use”.

“The Council has always resented our campaign to re-open the toilets and provide decent facilities on the street. Now they want to steal our community asset.

Far from helping community initiatives as they boast in glossy reports, they undermine, bully and ignore them when they can.”


Brooksby's Walk, London

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2018-01-29 18:27:23 +0000

10 signatures reached