‘THE beach will become a toilet’ was one of the fears voiced in a survey of visitors to Poppit Sands who were asked about possible proposals to close the loos at the popular tourist destination.

The toilets are currently run by Pembrokeshire County Council but it is looking to pass on that responsibility to St Dogmaels Community Council – along with the toilets in the High Street car park – in a bid to cut costs.

However, the community council fears the financial implications of such a decision – and also the possible loss of the beach’s Blue Flag if the toilets were to close.

It carried out a survey of visitors towards the end of the summer and Cllr Jo Hutchings told a community council meeting that the overwhelming reaction was that without toilet facilities, people would not visit the area.

“We haver had 500 responses and nearly every one thinks it is utterly ridiculous that the toilets could close,”said Cllr Hutchings.

“We have had a huge response. People have said they don’t mind paying to provide the facilities but a lot of people said they won’t come to Poppit if they close the toilets. People will be going to the toilet in the dunes and on the beach.

“I think it will just be a disaster and is utterly ridiculous.

“Many of those who responded also said that the village should not have to pay in what is essentially a tourism area.”

A meeting is due to be held on October 14 between Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority which runs the car park at the site and generates a huge amount of money from that yet does not contribute to the upkeep of the toilets.

Cllr Gill Wislocka argued that the National Park would be failing in its statutory duty if the toilets were to close, while Cllr Melrose Thomas said it could reach a stage where the issue could become a test case and go to court if a decision was made to close the toilets.

Questionnaires are now being distributed throughout the village by the community council asking local residents whether they would be prepared to pay a higher precept to keep open the public toilets at both Poppit and the High Street car park.

The information from the visitor survey will be forwarded to the meeting between the county council and national park.