Wodonga Council under fire from grandmother upset at construction of public toilet close to her home

THE emergence of a toilet block within sight of her front yard has left a Wodonga grandmother feeling ill.

Beryl Newland was upset to discover last week that public toilets were being erected near the Kelly Park netball courts which face on to her Dalgleish Street home.

"I've got a toilet within 30 metres of my front door and I don't think that's fair at all," Mrs Newland said.

The pensioner, 74, said she had no notice from Wodonga Council that it planned to build the block so close to the house she bought last year with her husband Mervyn, 81.

"I've lost sleep over this and really do feel ill about it," Mrs Newland said.

"I think they should have been open and let us know what was going on, even if they put a stake out there with a sign saying 'future toilet'.

"If people put up flats they let people know."

Mrs Newland feels the toilet will devalue her $189,000 home by up to $20,000.

Toilet outlook: Beryl Newland in her lounge room which looks out over a new toilet block being built in Wodonga's Kelly Park. Picture: MARK JESSER

Toilet outlook: Beryl Newland in her lounge room which looks out over a new toilet block being built in Wodonga's Kelly Park. Picture: MARK JESSER

"Who's going to buy a house with a toilet at your front door?" she said.

"This has really dropped the value of our property."

Neighbours share Mrs Newland's concern that a note in April did not specify where the toilet, which is replacing a block to the east, was going to be located.

"Those people on the corner the value of their places is going to go down dramatically having a toilet right next to them," Grant Court local Elaine Bennett said of those at the head of her street.

"We weren't told properly and it's going to be revolting, they (councillors) wouldn't like a toilet built across the road from their houses."

Widow Pat Joiner said the toilet block should have been built further away.

"Putting it there, it will be an eyesore," Mrs Joiner said.

Tale of two toilets: The new ablutions block being built in the foreground to replace the restrooms in the background. The construction site abuts the log barriers while there is a gap of 20-metres between the old site and the park edge. Picture: MARK JESSER

Tale of two toilets: The new ablutions block being built in the foreground to replace the restrooms in the background. The construction site abuts the log barriers while there is a gap of 20-metres between the old site and the park edge. Picture: MARK JESSER

Mrs Newland said with more notice she would have objected to the plan and gathered a petition in protest.

Wodonga Council's manager sport and recreation Jenelle Williamson defended the city's communication, saying the toilet relocation had been part of a Kelly Park master plan adopted last December.  

"The relocation of the toilet block allows for an efficient use of space and resources (at Kelly Park)," Ms Williamson said.

"The building was strategically located to be opposite the court entrance and not a resident’s home. 

"Residents were invited to provide feedback on the plans at two opportunities in the development of that master plan and were provided the information through several letterbox drops." 

Under the Kelly Park plan the toilets have been pushed to the edge of the grass to allow a soccer field to replace the existing netball courts.

Netball will be shifted to Birallee Park.