Closure of Harrison's Rocks Toilets and Campsiteby Emma Harrington Jul/2013
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The popular southern sandstone venue of Harrison's Rocks is undergoing some changes. The following information is for the Harrison's Rocks toilet and camping facilities:
The toilet block is currently closed because the building is unsafe. Water has leaked directly onto the fuse boxes causing serious damage. The campsite relies on these facilities and so it is also currently closed.
The land on which the car park, toilet block and campsite stand is currently leased from the Forestry Commission by Sport England and managed on their behalf by the Harrison's Rocks Management Group (part of the British Mountaineering Council). This lease expires in November of next year and Sport England will not be renewing it. The Forestry Commission do not want to take on the cost of maintaining the toilet block and plan to demolish it when the lease expires, close the lower half of the car park and increase the capacity of the upper half.
Sport England should, under the terms of the lease, return the site in the same state as it was in when the lease started, which would involve many thousands of pounds being spent on renovations to the building and car park – clearly, if the Forestry Commission plan to demolish the block, this would be a waste of public money and so Sport England currently plan to spend their budgeted money on demolishing the block themselves and also on the changes to the car park.
Harrison's Rocks Management Group asked Sport England if it would be possible to do just the repairs to the block needed to get it operational again in the short term, but the cost of this would be prohibitive.
Unless the situation changes, the toilets (and hence the campsite) will remain closed until either the lease expires in November 2014 or the block is demolished prior to this by Sport England.
A meeting with The Forestry Commission and Sports England is being held in August at which point the actual plan for the car park should become clearer.
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