Work to finally start on £80k public toilets refurbishment
PUBLISHED: 16:45 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:33 05 September 2019
The long-running saga surrounding a public toilet block in Diss will finally head towards its conclusion this month with work to start on its refurbishment.
Plans have now been drawn up by South Norfolk Council for the major revamp of the toilets at Mere Mouth, which it is estimated will cost around £80,000, before their on-going management is then transferred to Diss Town Council.
The town centre toilets have been judged to be in need of work to bring them up to the required standards and work by building contractors is now planned to start at the end of September or in early October.
A South Norfolk Council spokesman said: "Our surveyor and the town council's surveyor have now agreed what needs to be done. We are in the middle of a procurement process."
South Norfolk is under no obligation to provide public toilets and has been divesting responsibility for the upkeep of most of them to parish councils.
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Ownership of the Mere Mouth toilets had been due to transfer to Diss Town Council back in March 2018 however when a structural survey found serious problems with the foundations the district council decided refurbishing the building would be uneconomical.
After a 1,500-name public petition the threat of demolition was removed last summer when South Norfolk announced it would refurbish the toilets after all "having listened to the residents of Diss".
South Norfolk Councillor for Diss, Keith Kiddie, said: "Everyone is delighted that it is about to happen but we had to have everything done properly because it is a lot of public money that is going to be spent. It is not an inconsiderable amount so we have got to get it right.
"We will get it up to an acceptable standard that has been agreed then the town council will take on the day-to-day running and maintenance and general upkeep going forward.
"South Norfolk has also refurbished toilets in Wymondham and Loddon and people have agreed the standard is good, so everyone will be happy to see this finally come to fruition.
"There is no statutory requirement to provide public toilets but everyone appreciates that there is a need and this was our method of fulfilling our remit to the people of Diss."