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Closing Harbour Toilets

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16th March


Cornwall Council has announced that it intends closing its public convenience in the Harbour Car Park at Sennen Cove.

In a move which seems to defy all logic, the Council - which is proposing to spend £1m on a `transport hub` at St Erth - says it cannot afford to pay for cleaning and maintenance of the toilets and therefore will close them - despite the Harbour Commissioners paying many thousands of pounds per year to the Council in business rates for the car park.

This will remove a fundamental facility for locals and visitors alike and makes a complete mockery of the Council`s stated aims of supporting tourism as the single most important industry in Cornwall .

Human faeces is already evident around the buildings adjacent to the toilets due to the current period of closure. The toilets are an essential, basic facility and it is the Council`s responsibility to continue to ensure their availability.

This is a serious issue in the Cove and this website is happy to promote opposition to this inane plan.

If you wish, you may make representations on this issue to

Steve Double CC
Cabinet Member - Environmental, Waste Management Policy and Shared Services

Bill Maddern CC
St Buryan Electoral Division
01736 364964

... and of course post any views here.


Cornwall Council do not own them ? ... strange to fit such a plaque then - let alone service and maintain them for 60 years ! (including preceeding Councils)
9th May.
Well !
There is now certain evidence that in fact Sennen Cove Harbour Commissioners do own the toilets !
The toilets were built by West Penwith Rural District Council under a 35 year lease from the Commissioners. This lease expired in 1993 !
This information has been received today from Cornwall Council.

The Harbour Commissioners will now be urgently considering the situation.
4th April ... the GOOD NEWS is that the toilets are currently open !
... but due to close again on 16th April !!


Andrew H 19th April

I have just had a very prompt response from Steve Double, Cornwall County Council, who reports that "....You will be pleased to know that there are now constructive discussions taking place to find an alternative means of operating the toilets that will enable them to remain open for the future. As a result of these discussions I have agreed to continue funding the toilets for a further three months to allow a plan to be put in place."

Seemingly good news!

how interesting - wonder who he is talking to ! ... at least the toilets remain open.

Andrew 13th April

A big thank you to all who managed to sign the petition against the closure of the Harbour car park toilets and to all those who were unable to do so but gave their support by email. The 534 name petition, collected in just six days, was handed over to Bill Maddern who has his meeting with the chaps up at County Hall tomorrow.


Bill said that we should continue to collect signatures as the fight is not over yet. It is available for signing at The Old Boathouse Stores and Breakers Café.


This statement went with the petition that you might be interested in reading.

Isobel 11th April I am a councillor representing a large village in Buckinghamshire and,
although the provision of public toilets is not a statutory obligation for
local authorities, we have pledged to keep our toilets open, as we recognize
that they are a vital amenity for our residents. Our toilets were recently
closed due to a water leak and I was inundated with complaints from locals
who use them. Balancing budgets is important for all local authorities and
we are looking at ways of running our toilets more efficiently rather than
closing them down.

In a beautiful tourist area, like Sennen, which my partner and I have fallen
in love with, surely they are an even more vital amenity.

So Cornwall Council - if you want people like us to continue to visit -
think twice before closing your toilets- otherwise we will be thinking twice
about visiting!
Lynn and Julian 4th April
How ridiculous .... What are they intending to do with the building ....... or is it just going to be left empty and become an eyesore ..... anyone know ?  What about the People walking from Lands End to Sennon are they now expected to walk all the way to the beach loos which are constantly busy throughout the summer and what about the people who visit the lifeboat station as well ?
Whoever the people were who made the unbelievable decision to close the toilets obviously have no interest in supporting local business.


28th March

I am horrified at this decision. My favourite holiday pastime is to park in the Harbour Car Park and watch the sea and the bird-life over the rocks and the harbour wall – sometimes for hours. However, I am disabled and, although I don’t need a ‘disabled’ toilet, I cannot walk very far at all, and certainly not as far as the Beach Car Park – add to that my ‘irritable bladder’ (!) and that’s me banjaxed! I thought Cornwall County Council were keen to promote tourism not deter it!


27th March

I guess this is a cynical move by the Council, who will expect the Harbour Commissioners or Sennen Parish Council to take on the cost of maintaining the toilets.  I expect the simple, but perhaps unpalatable, solution will be for the Harbour Commissioners to take on responsibility and fund the additional cost by increasing the car parking charges (which are at present quite cheap compared with other car parks).


26th March

Perhaps we should consider recommending the removal of all the toilets in the Council building.

Councillors can use the nearest public convenience (assuming it's open).

The money saved would easily cover the cost of the Cove Car Park toilet.

This will make it less convenient for them to dump their political promises close to their offices.


18th March

Another inane decision from Cornwall Council based purely on financial criteria, ignoring the social needs.  This car park is used by many visitors and recreation people who have no interest in the beach.  To force them to carry out a ?3/4 mile walk (round trip) for relief is unreasonable.


18th March

With no toilets at Harbour car park, more cars will be trying to get onto beach car park, making it even more congested.
At busy times, more pedestrians on beach car park making it even more hazardous. Walkers coming back from Lands End way may bypass businesses at Harbour end in search of toilets. Shop, cafe and lifeboat shop may suffer.


17th March

What a bl**dy silly idea, do the Council have a special department to recommend stupidity on such a scale?


17th March

Is it not possible for the Harbour Commission to take over running the toilets and offset the costs against their tax liability.

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