Future of public toilets uncertain

Diss Mere and the public toilet block. PHOTO: Simon Parker

Diss Mere and the public toilet block. PHOTO: Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

The future of a public toilet block hangs in the balance as a structural report reveals the building is unsound and beyond repair.

Diss Mere and the public toilet block. Photograph Simon Parker

Diss Mere and the public toilet block. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

The public toilets located in Mere's Mouth Diss are believed to be almost 50 years-old.

Owned by South Norfolk Council, since the summer the toilets have been managed by Diss Town Council but a recent structural report of the toilet block found serious problems with the building's foundations.

A spokesperson for South Norfolk Council said: 'A structural report that was carried out at the end of last year has shown that the foundations of the Mere's Mouth public toilet building are beyond repair.

'South Norfolk Council and Diss Town Council are now discussing the future of toilets and the best option for the residents of Diss.'

At the last full town council meeting held on December 13, Graham Minshull said it was likely that the Mere's Mouth toilets will be demolished in the next few months owing to their 'very poor' structural condition.

Although many in the town agree the toilet block needs renovating, they also feel that they are a vital facility.

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Debbie Musk, 46, who works in Diss said: 'It's really handy and they're definitely needed but they can be really smelly and are not the best public loos, they're a bit of a last resort.

'The town needs loos but they need revamping.'

Another visitor to Diss, Mrs Williams from Eye, added the 'Toilets were not the best of places and do not feel very hygienic' but agreed that they were a needed.

South Norfolk's public toilet blocks have proved to be a contentious issue in recent years.

In 2014, a state-of-the-art 'self cleaning' toilet block was installed in Bullock Close, Harleston. Costing £122,730, the build hailed the start of a programme by South Norfolk Council to refurbish all of its public toilets in support of its market towns initiative.

It was hoped that the new toilets would help increase the number of visitors to the town.

But after just two years and complaints from residents about the cost of using them, the toilet block was removed at a total cost to the tax payer of more than £150,000.

What do you think should happen to the toilets? E-mail sabrina.johnson@archant.co.uk

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