Is it a noticeboard or a pissoir?

By Jonathan BarnesA NOTICEBOARD is proving the talk of an East Anglian village – because residents think it looks like an outdoor toilet.The new facility in Debenham, on the village green, has been called "ghastly" and "totally alien" – and a petition has even been started to get rid of it.

By Jonathan Barnes

A NOTICEBOARD is proving the talk of an East Anglian village – because residents think it looks like an outdoor toilet.

The new facility in Debenham, on the village green, has been called "ghastly" and "totally alien" – and a petition has even been started to get rid of it.

"It looks like an old French lavatory – a cross between that and an Italian ice cream van," said David Ball, whose High Street home has a close-up view of the "eyesore".


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But the parish council said no-one complained when residents were given the chance to air their views at a public meeting.

The new pillar-style noticeboard cost £3,900, with £2,000 funded by the East of England Development Agency's initiative to boost market towns. It appeared in the centre of the village, on council-owned land, a week ago.

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Mr Ball, 77, a retired photographer who has lived in Debenham for 40 years, said: "I have never seen anything like it.

"It is so out of keeping with the village. There is so little room and this was about the only open space there was. It is right outside my house, but I would protest about it wherever it was. It is a ghastly thing, a real eyesore."

Fellow High Street resident Andrew Grant-Adamson said bemused villagers thought the new noticeboard bore a passing resemblance to "a pissoir".

He added: "It reminds me of something you used to see in France – or used to see. It is something that you might expect to see in the middle of a shopping mall, not in a medieval market town.

"There has been a lot of money spent on it and it is just a totally alien piece of street furniture. People are up in arms about it – it's proving quite a talking point."

Mr Grant-Adamson said a petition had been started in the village calling for the parish council to tear down the new noticeboard.

Lynne Cockerton, clerk of Debenham Parish Council, said councillors had decided to replace the old noticeboard because it had become "a bit dilapidated".

She added the council had taken the decision because villagers had said they would like more local information.

"The design was our choice because of the space available. We considered some designs and decided on that one," said Mrs Cockerton. "We had a public meeting last April and the board was displayed for people to see. Nobody seemed to complain."

She added anyone who wanted to air their views about the noticeboard could do so at Thursday's parish council meeting at Dove Cottage, High Street, starting at 7.30pm.

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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