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Norfolk councillors approve 'vandal proof' toilet plans

PUBLISHED: 17:40 18 January 2019

The building that could be converted into loos. Picture: Google

The building that could be converted into loos. Picture: Google

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A Norfolk town is set to introduce "vandal proof" toilets after councillors agreed to back plans to renovate a derelict building.

Swaffham councillors have backed a bid to transform a disused storage building in the town’s Recreation Park into the state-of-the-art toilet facilities, after the building was targeted by vandals.

At a meeting in the evening of Wednesday, January 16, at the town hall, councillors were presented with the plans for the Cley Road site.

It has not been open to the public for 15 years, after becoming too expensive to maintain.

Town clerk Richard Bishop said: “The building used to be public toilets about 15 years ago but it became economically unviable to run them and the building was then used for storage.”

Mr Bishop added the council hopes the facilities will encourage more people to use the park facilities, including the games area and skate park.

“We are trying to get all the interested parties together for a meeting and get on with moving this forward as quickly as possible,” he said.

Plans approved by the council outlined an offer from contractor James Edwards and Bespoke Norfolk Ltd to carry out the work.

The council will pay £2,000 raised through fundraising and events towards the construction costs, with the remainder met by the company.

The facilities are described as unisex, 100pc vandal proof, and designed to be cleaned with pressure washers, and there will also be one toilet for “invalid use”.

Works will include improving drainage, laying new floors, and building walls and lockable doors inside the building, and will also involve removing the existing ceiling and replastering the area.

Once the toilets are in use, the ongoing maintenance and running costs will be met by Swaffham Town Council.

However, it’s thought the costs incurred would be offset by the savings of not having to rent portable toilets for town events.

The plan comes after Diss Town Council decided that it would keep its toilets at Mere Mouth - after more than a year of debate about whether to demolish them.

Councillors at the meeting also discussed a highways meeting, improvements to the churchyard, a fundraising fashion show, 50 years of the Swaffham Rotary Club, and changes to council policies on grave digging and Christmas lights.

READ MORE: Norfolk council to decide on ‘vandal proof’ public toilets

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